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Ex  Libris 
C.  K.  OGDEN    ' 


















We.    We. 

G.    W.    MANBY,    Es«. 


Author  of  the  History  of  ST.  DAVID'S,  and  FUGITIVE  SKETCHES  of 
CIIFTON  ;  by  whom  will  Speedily  bo  Published,  the  most  ROMANTIC 

O  wh»  can  more  delight  the  tender  bran, 
Or  more  expand  the  wealth  of  liberal  minds, 
Than  lovely  nature's  variout  face  I 



Aud  sold  by  E.  HARDING,  Crown  and  Mitre,  Pall-Mall  ;  RIVINCTO.VS, 

St.  Paul's  Church-Yard,  and  LONGMAN  &  REES,  Pater-Nustcr- 

How,  London  ;    and  J.  NORTON,   aud  Sox,, 

Corn-Street,  Bristol. 





The  Marchioness  Townshend. 

A  Public  acknowledgment  of 
the  very  great  obligations  conferred 
upon  my  Youth,  and  afterwards  so 
generously  extended  to  others  most 
dear  tome,  by  YOURSELF  and  ILLUS- 
TRIOUS CONSORT,  is  the  only  oppor- 
tunity of  evincing  its  sensibility,  which 
presents  itself  to  a  heart  too  humbje 
to  hope  that  it  can  ever,  by  any  sub- 
stantial benefit,  discharge  the  debt  of 
gratitude  which  it  has  thus  incurred. 

Already  apprehensive  that  vanity 
may  be  imputed  to  me,  for  having  pre- 
sumed thus  to  avow  the  honor  of  your 
early  patronage,  I  shall  not  further 
sanction  the  justice  of  such  censure ; 
but  decline  any  other  reference  to 
your  numerous  kindnesses,  than  to 
assure  you  that  a  lively  recollection 
of  them  has,  with  unfeigned  sincerity, 
for  ever  confirmed  me 

Your  Ladyship's 

Most  Devoted, 
and  Faithful  Humble  Servant, 
G.   W.  MAN  BY. 

CHITON,  Nov.  4,  1802. 


O  history,  thou  parent  of  renown  ; 
Thou  best  instructor  of  mankind  ! 

JL  O  visit  a  country  celebrated  for  eventful  history,  had  long 
been  an  object  of  my  wishes :  on  the  Continent,  hostilities 
denied  its  accomplishment ;  in  my  own  nation  I,  therefore, 
sought  for  a  circumscribed  district,  which  should  at  once 
present  itself,  to  captivate  the  attention  by  the  beauty  and 
variety  of  its  natural  attractions,  and  interest  the  more  deeply 
reflecting  mind  by  the  importance  of  its  political  vicissitudes. 
The  SILURES  (part  of  South  Wales),  to  say  nothing  of  its 
high-praised  scenery  (but  which  would  never  disappoint  the 
most  glowing  anticipations  of  fancy),  seemed  to  me  to  promise 
the  largest  rewards  to  the  labours  of  my  historical  research, 
not  only  on  account  of  the  arduous  and  memorable  struggle 
made  by  that  brave  people  against  the  Roman  and  other  in- 
vaders, until  it  became  a  territorial  member  of  the  English 
dominion,  but  also  for  its  castleated  ruins,  once  proud  monu- 
ments of  fame,  but  now,  alas !  mouldering  tombs  of  scarce- 
remembered  grandeur. 


Of  the  customs  and  peculiarities  of  the  original  inhabitants, 
it  is  exceedingly  difficult  to  obtain  such  information  as  would 
be  likely  to  gratify  the  fastidious  delicacy  of  a  sincere  lover  of 
pure  historic  fact.  Authors  are  various  in  their  opinions,  and 
the  most  learned  acknowledge  their  insufficiency  to  say  any 
thing  with  certainty,  from  the  mixture  of  fable  and  impro- 
bability that  has  been  recorded  by  the  earliest  writers. 

Similar  to  other  countries,  at  that  remote  period,  they 
are  supposed  to  have  formed  themselves  into  separate  bodies, 
each  governed  by  a  chief,  who  considered  himself  as  indepen- 
dent of  other  states  ;  and  no  doubt,  though  they  had  frequent 
disagreements  and  battles  among  themselves,  still,  under  any 
danger  which  threatened  a  number  of  the  principalities  toge- 
ther, (as  the  invasion  of  a  foreign  foe,)  they  were  prudent 
enough  to  unite  themselves,  and  to  be  directed  by  one  com- 
mander, for  the  advantage  of  all  the  tribes;  but,  even  then, 
their  ferocious  disposition  and  impatience  of  controul  would 
sometimes  prevent  that  cordiality  so  necessary  to  preservation, 
and  lay  them  open  to  difficulties  and  disasters.  From  their 
mode  of  living  in  the  plainest  manner,  and  not  subjecting 
themselves  to  unnecessary  luxuries,  either  in  clothing  or 
habitation,  they  were  strong,  active,  hardy,  and  healthy :  of 
their  courage  and  impetuosity  the  invaders  bear  witness ;  it 
was  not  their  first  appearance  or  attack  which  subdued  them, 
although  inured  to  war  and  having  the  advantage  of  superior 
qualifications  j  nor,  when  a  footing  had  been  gained  by  them, 
had  they  any  security  or  rest  for  a  long  series  of  years.  From 


this  cause,  the  Romans  were  under  the  necessity  of  keeping 
up  an  extensive  chain  of  communications  with  every  one 
of  their  settlements  ;  and,  in  all  probability,  had  the  Britons 
been  in  firm  unanimity,  they  might  have  preserved  themselves 
and  their  country  from  subjugation. 

Who  were  the  princes  and  governors  of  Britain,  the  distant 
period  leaves  us  much  in  the  dark.  There  is  a  manuscript  in 
the  possession  of  Mr.  Hopkins,  of  Coychurch,  Glamorgan- 
shire, which  states,  that  the  first  monarch  of  the  island  was 
Prydain,  son  of  Aeth  the  great,  at  that  time  king  of  the  nine 
Cantreds,  or  hundreds,  of  Syllwg,  Siluria,  or  Gwent,  but 
declined  universal  monarchy,  for,  that  "  Council  is  not  to  be 
found  in  emolument;"  so  that,  as  before  stated,  his  son 
Prydain  was  placed  in  the  high  station  :  from  him,  by  descent 
in  a  long  line  of  sixteen  successors,  Bran  inherited  the  throne, 
who  was  father  to  the  renowned  Caractacus :  previous  to 
him,  we  scarcely  find  any  thing  to  interest  us  in  the  affairs  of 
the  kingdom  j  but  the  variety  of  fortune,  the  uprightness  of 
his  actions,  the  valour  and  perseverance  of  the  man,  add  a 
dignity  to  the  hero,  and  compel  us,  while  we  applaud  hi3 
spirit,  to  lament  his  humiliation. 

The  detestation  in  which  the  Britons  held  their  Invaders, 
was  continually  manifested  by  their  repeatedly  harassing  them 
whenever  opportunity  offered;  and  though  the  Romans,  by 
dint  of  scientific  warfare,  generally  were  victorious,  still 
the  sentiment  of  revenge  was  strongly  planted  in  the  British 


breast,  and,  undaunted  by  former  defeats,  would  still  engage. 
This  people,  headed  by  Caractacus,  a  revered  Prince,  whose 
reputation  and  courage  were  his  greatest  boast,  gave  a  hope  that 
their  efforts  would  not  be  unsuccessful ;  the  Romans  were  now 
guided  by  Ostorius  (who  succeeded  Plautius),  and  came  from 
the  northern  parts  of  the  kingdom,  which,  by  battles  and  bri- 
bery, he  had  in  a  great  measure  subdued;  thus  was  he  ad- 
vanced to  head  an  army  to  be  opposed  to  Caractacus,  who,  by 
several  movements,  had  placed  his  adherents  under  every  pos- 
sible advantage,  and  taken  his  station  in  the  country  of  the 
Ordovices  (North  Wales),  as  being  more  suitable  for  defence, 
as  the  grounds  were  less  accessible  to  an  enemy  so  politic  and 
superior  in  numbers ;  here  Caractacus  waited  the  issue  of 
a  contest  which  was  to  decide  the  fate  of  his  countrymen  j 
nothing  in  his  power  was  omitted,  that  could  animate  their 
souls  with  an  ardor  for  glory,  and  the  memory  of  the  achieve- 
ments of  their  ancestors  was  held  up  to  inspire  them  with  the 
like  fervour :  the  spirit  and  situation  of  the  Britons  were  not 
unnoticed  by  the  penetrating  eye  of  Ostorius,  who,  to  the 
usual  forms  of  encouraging  his  legion,  set  forth  the  still 
greater  merit  of  encountering  greater  difficulties ;  indeed  they 
appeared  in  the  circumstances  before  them,  and  might  be 
thought  insuperable.  As  the  Roman  soldiers  were  impa- 
tient for  the  attack,  Ostorius  had  no  difficulty  in  leading 
them  to  the  battle,  which  was  long  and  obstinately  contested  $ 
but  alas,  the  discipline  and  fury  of  Roman  warriors,  shielded  by 
coats  of  mail,  proved  too  powerful  for  the  brave  Britons,  who, 
were  defeated,  and  the  victory  was  the  more  complete  by  the 

ultimate  capture  of  the  wife  and  daughters  of  Caractacus,  and 
the  surrender  of  his  brothers.  The  unfortunate  Prince,  in  his 
despair,  fled,  for  protection  and  relief,  to  Cartismandua,  the 
queen  of  the  Brigantines,  who,  unmindful  of  generosity,  ho- 
nor, or  compassion,  infamously  delivered  him  into  the  hands 
of  his  enemy  ;  thus  was  a  dignified  hero,  by  the  issue  of  this 
battle,  reduced  from  power,  freedom,  and  prosperity,  to  be- 
come a  public  spectacle  in  the  triumphal  procession  of  the 
conqueror  to  Rome. 

Though  in  this  manner  degraded,  he  preserved  his  magna- 
nimity, and  without  a  look  of  despondency,  or  soliciting  com- 
passion from  the  surrounding  throng,  he  manfully  and  ener- 
getically addressed  himself  to  Claudius,  seated  on  his  throne  : — 

"  If  my  moderation  in  prosperity  had  been  answerable  to  the  greatness 
"  of  my  birth  and  estate,  or  the  success  of  my  late  attempts,  to  the 
"  resolution  of  my  mind,  I  might  have  come  to  this  city  rather  as  a  friend 
"  to  be  entertained,  than  as  a  captive  to  be  gazed  upon  ;  neither  wouldest 
"  thou  disdain  to  have  received  me  on  terms  of  amity  and  peace,  being  a 
"  man  of  royal  descent,  and  a  commander  of  many  warlike  nations ;  but, 
"  what  cloud  soever  hath  darkened  my  present  lot,  yet  have  the  Heavens 
"  and  nature  given  me  that  in  birth  and  mind,  which  none  can  vanquish 
"  or  deprive  me  of.  I  well  see,  that  you  make  other  men's  miseries  the 
"  subject  and  matter  of  your  triumphs,  and,  in  this  my  calamity,  as  in  a 
"  mirror,  you  now  contemplate  your  own  glory ;  yet  know,  that  I  am, 
"  and  was,  a  prince,  furnished  with  strength  of  men  and  habiliments  of 
"  war;  and  what  marvel  is  it  if  all  be  lost,  seeing  experience  teacheth  that 
"  the  events  of  war  are  variable,  and  the  success  of  policies  guided  by 


"  uncertain  fates ;  as  it  is  with  me,  who  thought  that  the  deep  waters, 
"  like  a  wall,  enclosing  our  land,  and  it,  so  situated  by  heavenly  Provi- 
"  dence,  as  in  another  world,  might  have  been  a  sufficient  privilege  and 
"  defence  for  us  against  foreign  invasions :  but  now  I  perceive,  that  the 
"  desire  of  sovereignty  admits  no  limitation ;  and  if  you  Romans  must 
"  command  all,  then  all  must  obey,  for  mine  own  part,  while  I  was  able, 
"  I  made  resistance,  and  unwilling  I  was  to  submit  my  neck  to  a  servile 
"  yoke.  So  far  the  law  of  nature  alloweth  every  man  that  he  may  defend 
"  himself,  being  assailed,  and  to  withstand  force  by  force.  Had  I  at  first 
"  yielded,  thy  glory,  and  my  rain,  had  not  been  so  renown'd.  Fortune 
"  hath  now  done  her  worst ;  we  have  nothing  left  us  but  our  lives,  which 
"  if  thou  take  from  us,  our  miseries  end ;  and  if  thou  spare  us,  we  are  but 
"  the  objects  of  thy  clemency." 

Such  a  speech,  from  such  a  man,  effected  his  and  his  family's 
release  from  their  chains,  and  their  consequent  respectful 
obedience  to  the  Emperor  and  Empress. 

Thus  terminated  the  career  of  a  man  who  had  fully  employed 
the  Romans  for  nine  years ;  but  the  Silures  could  not  be  kept 
peaceable,  either  by  good  or  ill  treatment :  and  this  defeat 
served  no  otherwise  than  to  stimulate  them  to  greater  acts  of 
valour,  by  which  they  gained  several  victories  over  their  op- 
pressors; in  short,  the  trouble  and  anxiety  which  Ostorius  was 
continually  labouring  under  at  the  determined  and  obstinate 
disposition  of  the  Britons,  was  the  occasion  of  his  death.  The 
command  devolved  on  Didius,  who  kept  them  in  more  subjec- 
tion, but  no  remarkable  action  is  recorded  of  him,  and  had  he 
not  been  assisted  by  others,  in  all  likelihood,  Hie  inveteracy  of 
the  Britons  would  have  been  too  powerful  for  him.  After  Didius., 


Verantius  became  commander,  who  dying  within  a  year,  Sueto- 
nius Paulinas  had  the  government ;  and  as  success  encreases 
ardor,  he  determined  on  the  gaining  of  the  island  of  Mona 
(Anglesey),  which  was  still  rebellious ;  but  his  absence  occa- 
sioned a  fresh  rupture  that  had  nearly  been  fatal  to  the  Romans. 
Trebellius  Maximus  was  the  next,  and  succeeded  by  the  more 
gentle  method  of  pardoning  their  errors ;  but,  while  this  scheme 
was  going  on,  a  mutiny  arose  in  his  own  army,  and  he  was 
ever  after  necessitated  to  act  with  caution.  Vectius  Bolanus, 
his  successor,  was  also  in  the  like  uneasy  situation,  from  a 
want  of  unity  among  his  men,-  over  whom  he  had  scarcely  the 
shew  of  authority.  Petilius  Cerialis  was  more  regarded,  and 
by  being  successful  in  several  sharp  conflicts,  acquired  confi- 
dence. To  him  succeeded  Julius  Frontinus,  who  overcame 
all  obstacles,  carried  victory  with  him,  and  subdued  the  long- 
resisting  Silures.  His  successor  was  the  renowned  and  war- 
like Agricola,  who,  finding  the  Ordovices  had  obtained  some 
signal  advantage  over  the  Roman  horse,  put  himself  at  the 
head  of  his  troops,  and  nearly  destroyed  the  whole  nation ; 
he  completed  the  conquest  of  Mona,  by  dint  of  extraordinary 
ability  and  courage ;  he  made  no  pretence  for  fame  by  these 
actions,  and  rather  desired  to. conciliate  the  good  faith  of  his 
enemies  by  lenient  measures,  than  force  it  by  the  terror  of  the 

Hitherto  we  have  beheld  the  fortune  of  war  with  a  dejected 
eye,  as  having  seen  the  Britons  frustrated  in  their  endeavours 
to  counteract  the  progress  of  Roman  arms;  but,  setting 


aside  their  abrupt  entrance  into  the  kingdom,  which  was  cer- 
tainly in  an  hostile  and  marauding  manner,  yet,  when  viewed 
in  a  judicious  and  moral  light,  is  softened  by  the  numerous 
advantages  that  attended  the  Roman  conquest,  by  a  gradual 
amelioration  of  the  native  ferocity  of  the  Britons.  The 
Romans,  after  their  care  to  improve  and  strengthen  their 
acquisitions,  and  securing  their  several  positions  by  a  commu- 
nication from  one  post  to  another,  were  not  idle  in  the  em- 
bellishment of  their  stations.  Industry  was  continually 
exerted  whilst  they  had  any  quiet  from  their  harassing 
neighbours ;  and  every  means  were  employed  to  win  the 
confidence  of  the  natives,  by  the  introduction  of  sciences 
and  useful  arts. 

Agricola  is  mentioned,  if  not  the  first,  yet  the  chiefest 
promoter  of  improvement :  under  his  auspices  was  introduced 
a  complete  alteration  in  the  manner  of  government ;  his  offi- 
cers were  chosen  from  among  those  of  a  peaceable  and  gene- 
rous disposition :  by  such  means  the  abuses  which  had  been 
prevalent,  were  reformed,  and  he  gained  more  adherents  to  his 
cause,  than  would  have  been  acquired  by  contrary  measures. 

Establishments  were  founded  to  improve  the  British  youths, 
and  care  was  taken  to  instil  a  principle  of  civilization,  with  the 
view  to  wear  off  the  ill  impressions  formed  of  Roman  manners 
and  operations.  Superior  as  they  were  in  warfare,  they  were 
superior  in  genius  and  labor.  By  their  judicious  plans  some 
permanent  principle  of  refinement  was  imbibed  by  the  hitherto 


untamed,  unpolished  Britons ;  and  when  once  the  Roman 
ambition  was  gratified  by  the  subjugation  of  the  country,  they 
strove  immediately  to  eternize  their  fame  by  the  formation  of 
cities,  and  erecting  magnificent  and  useful  structures.  It  may 
naturally  be  supposed,  that  in  aid  of  the  power  to  beautify  their 
several  stations,  large  contributions  were  exacted  ;  but  Britons 
were  freely  to  enjoy  the  conveniences  accruing,  and  also  the 
emoluments  of  several  offices  of  state :  under  these  circum- 
stances, they  were  initiated  into  their  peculiarities  and 
customs,  and  in  time  found  the  value  of  the  benefits  arising 
from  the  connection. 

The  liberal  arts  and  sciences  were  not  the  only  matters  of 
improvement,  as  they  equally  excelled  in  cultivation,  and 
introduced  many  serviceable  articles,  particularly  red  wheat, 
now  so  valuable  and  prolific  a  grain ;  therefore,  though  the 
Romans  appear  in  the  light  of  invaders,  plunderers,  &c.  it 
must  be  acknowledged,  we  are  at  this  time,  improved  by 
their  conquest  over  our  ancestors. 

The  quietude  which  the  Britons  latterly  enjoyed  under  the 
Romans  who  had  initiated  them  into  their  mild  and 
luxurious  manner  of  living,  was  severely  felt  on  their  de- 
parture, insomuch  that  they  became  in  a  manner  en- 
feebled, and  unable  to  meet  an  enemy  who  now  threatened 
them  with  formidable  devastation.  The  impending  storrn, 
was  for  a  time,  prevented  by  a  compromise  for  money, 
but  this  mode  of  ensuring  safety  defeated  the  intent  of  a 

lasting    quietness,   and  it  was  not  long   ere   war  was  again  v 
their  situation. 

The  Britons  now  saw  the  necessity  there  was  of  resolutely 
defending  themselves,  and  engaged  their  foes;  but,  unfor- 
tunately for  them,  their  success  was  not  proportionate  to  their 
exertions  j  and  in  one  contest  they  lost  fourteen  thousand  of 
the  army.  Dispirited,  distressed,  and  in  a  manner  abandoning 
themselves  from  energy,  they  sought,  from  those  whom  they 
once  despised  and  troubled,  that  relief  they  were  of  them- 
selves unable  to  procure  j  but  the  Romans,  fully  occupied 
with  distractions  at  home,  denied  their  request  of  assistance, 
and  left  them  to  study  their  preservation,  and'  extricate  them- 
selves from  their  difficulties  by  their  own  perseverance  and 

Thus  deserted,  they  despaired  of  effectually  preventing  the 
progress  of  the  invading  Picts,  and  became  separated  among 
themselves ;  some  taking  to  the  wilds  and  woods,  and  dege- 
nerating into  their  ancient  barbarism  ;  others,  more  revengeful, 
would  harass  and  perplex  their  enemies,  being  inadequate 
to  oppose  them  in  an  open  engagement. 

These  contrary  methods,  and  supineness,  made  them 
neglect  the  cultivation  so  necessary  to  their  existence  j  and 
the  consequent  scarcity  brought  them  to  some  reason,  and 
returning  industry. 


This  circumstance,  however,  procured  the  mortified 
Britons  that  repose  which  their  efforts  failed  to  produce j 
for  the  Picts,  not  understanding  much  of  husbandry,  found  it 
necessary  to  retreat  from  the  parts  where  they  had  established 
themselves,  and  left  the  Britons  again  in  possession,  whose 
diligence  was  crowned  with  a  plentiful  supply,  as  a  reward 
for  their  labors. 

Whatever  sentiments  of  religion  or  Christianity  had  been 
cherished  by  them,  it  is  recorded,  that  in  this  also  they  became 
inharmonious,  and  were  divided.  The  clergy,  to  avoid  a  total 
neglect  of  the  solemnities,  which,  if  properly  adhered  to,  would 
have  more  firmly  united  the  man  and  the  passions,  applied  for 
assistance  to  Gaul,  from  whence  two  bishops  came,  who,  by 
perseverance  and  convincing  arguments,  restored  order,  and 
converted  their  prejudices. 

At  this  time,  the  Saxons,  who  had  joined  the  Picts,  invaded 
the  northern  part  of  Cambria ;  and  it  is  said,  that  St.  Germain, 
one  of  the  bishops,  (who  was  assembling  the  Britons 
for  an  approaching  baptism,)  appeared  no  wise  alarmed  at 
the  threatening  danger,  but  steadily  remained  in  the  station 
he  had  chosen,  which  was  at  a  place  called  Maes  Garmon, 
in  Flintshire  :  having  expressly  enjoined  the  Britons,  that  at 
the  moment  of  the  attack  they  should  three  times  cry 
out  "  Hallelujah,"  it  was  accordingly  performed  with  such 
enthusiasm,  that  the  Saxons  and  Picts  were,  from  this 
unexpected  shout,  and  its  distinct  reverberation  by  the 


surrounding  mountains,  so  appalled  with  apprehensions  that 
they  were  easily  defeated,  and  terms  of  amity  concluded. 

To  this  time  (anno  448),  the  Britons  had  several  kings, 
and  by  murder  Vortigern  had  risen  to  the  throne.  The 
course  of  his  reign  was  so  stained  by  perfidy  and  villany,  that  it 
would  be  painful  to  follow  up  the  events  in  particular.  To  him 
may  be  ascribed  the  succeeding  dismemberment  of  the  king- 
dom, and  all  the  disasters,  cruelties,  &c.  during  the  Saxon 
settlement,  who,  in  defiance  of  reason,  policy,  or  safety, 
were  expressly  invited  into  the  kingdom,  under  a  cowardly 
pretext,  by  which  they  profited  to  their  own  advantage,  and 
became  in  time  the  lords  and  governors  of  this  country. 

Considering  the  universal  detestation  in  which  Vortigern 
was  held  by  the  Britons,  it  is  rather  extraordinary  he  was 
suffered  to  reign  so  long}  but  the  miseries  that  were  borne 
by  the  unfortunate  Britons  from  the  ravages,  massacres, 
and  general  barbarity  of  the  Saxons,  at  length  turned  their 
attention  to  Ambrosius,  a  brother  of  their  former  chief,  who 
went  to  Armorica,  to  avoid  the  tyranny  of  Vortigern.  This 
prince,  assisted  by  his  brother,  Uther  Pendragon,  came  to  the 
relief  of  the  distressed  Britons,  who  in  great  numbers  readily 
joined  him,  and  in  a  sharp  conflict  forced  Vortigern  to  retreat 
to  his  castle  in  Carnarvonshire,  where  he  did  not  find  the 
safety  he  sought,  as  it  was  assailed  and  set  on  fire,  by  which 
himself  and  his  women  were  consumed.  Thus  perished  a 
man  advanced  in  life,  and  after  a  reign  of  thirty-three 


years  replete  with  variety  of  fortune  to  himself  and  woe  to 
the  kingdom. 

It  was  a  fatal  want  of  caution  in  the  Britons  (and  should 
serve  as  a  perpetual  lesson,  of  the  ill  consequences)  of  in- 
viting foreigners  to  assist  them  in  defending  the  country  from 
the  Picts,  and  also  countenancing  the  criminality  of  Vortigern's 
being  separated  from  his  wife  to  be  united  to  Rowena,  the 
daughter  of  the  Saxon  prince,  who,  perceiving  the  advantages 
of  this  country  over  his  own,  artfully  procured  sufficient 
bodies  of  his  countrymen  to  be  brought  over,  which  esta- 
blished him  for  a  length  of  time.  It  is  true  they  were  at  one 
time  driven  back  by  Vortimer,  a  son  of  Vortigern,  (at  a 
time  when  Vortigern  was  deposed  and  imprisoned),  but  this 
was  but  temporary,  as  Vortimer  was  afterwards  murdered 
by  the  contrivance  of  Rowena  and  connivance  of  his  father, 
whom  the  infatuated  Britons,  blind  to  their  interest,  rein- 
stated on  the  throne. 

The  Saxons-  soon  after  found  means,  by  treachery,  to 
slaughter  upwards  of  three  hundred  persons  of  the  first 
nobility  and  talents,  at  a  meeting  on  Salisbury  Plain,  convened 
under  social  and  harmonious  pretences.  Vortigern  was  the 
only  one  preserved,  and  from  thence  was  never  more  in  favor 
with  the  Britons,  as  he  was,  from  his  known  partiality  to  the 
Saxons,  strongly  suspected  of  being  concerned  in  the  diabolical 
business  j  and  perhaps  that  circumstance  was  the  fundamental 
cause  of  his  destruction.  It  may  be  necessary  to  observe  the 


remarkable  pile  now  known  as  STONEHENGE,  was  erected  to 
perpetuate  that  abominable  deed. 

Ambrosius,  who  succeeded,  gained  important  advantages 
over  the  Saxons,  and  after  recovering  a  considerable  part  of 
the  country,  ended  his  days  by  poison :  Uther  Pendragon 
then  ascended  the  throne,  and  after  seventeen  years  of 
successful  enterprises  against  the  common  enemy,  was  also 
poisoned :  his  son,  the  renowned  Arthur,  now  became 
the  British  monarch,  who,  without  the  addition  of  fable  and 
romance,  and  considering  him  as  a  monarch  and  a  man, 
was  certainly  a  great  character,  and  singularly  successful 
in  most  of  his  enterprises ;  but  there  was  undoubtedly 
impropriety  in  his  conduct,  by  going  on  foreign  expe- 
ditions when  the  security  of  his  own  country  required  his 
presence.  In  his  absence,  the  Saxons  who  had  joined  the 
Picts,  continually  troubled  the  Britons,  and  on  his  return, 
made  him  sensible  he  had  neglected  that  duty  he  owed  to  his 


After  a  reign  of  twenty-five  years,  he  was  killed  at  the 
battle  of  Camlan,  fighting  against  the  united  armies  of 
Saxons,  Picts,  .and  the  Regent,  whom  he  had  left  to  govern 
the  kingdom,  but  who,  in  his  absence,  not  only  usurped  the 
throne  but  married  his  wife.  ^ 

From  hence  the  various  princes  and  circumstances  through 
a  period  of  two  hundred  and  seventy-seven  years,  would  be 

uninteresting  to  describe,  but  in  8 19  the  Saxon  heptarchy 
was  united  in  one  power  under  Egbert,  who  denominated  his 
government  England. 

The  Britons  who  remained  staunch  to  their  principles 
and  manners,  still  maintained  an  inveterate  hatred  to  the 
Saxons,  retired  to  the  mountains,  and  settled  themselves 
in  that  part  of  the  kingdom  now  known  by  the  name  of 
Wales;  governed  by  princes  of  their  own,  but  considered 
themselves  as  under  one  king,  who  stationed  himself  in 
North  Wales. 

They  did  not,  however,  remain  quiet,  but  were  continually 
making  inroads  on  the  English  territories  ;  and  joined  another 
troublesome  enemy  of  the  English  (the  Danes),  which  so  ex- 
asperated the  Saxon  monarch  as  to  exact  from  him  severe 
retaliation ;  and  those  Welshmen  who  were  found  to  have 
passed  the  boundaries,  were  ordered  immediately  to  be  put  to 
death.  The  unity  of  the  Welsh  and  Danes  did  not  continue 
long,  for  in  873  the  Danes  became  an  enemy,  over-ran  the 
southern  part,  and  destroyed  the  churches  and  religious 

But  the  independence  of  Wales  received  a  lasting  blow 
from  Roderic  (surnamed  the  Great)  consenting  to  become 
tributary  to  the  English.  Although  this  king  had  established 
several  wise  institutions,  and  became  honored  with  an  unusual 
dignity,  this  last  measure  cannot  be  palliated ;  as  it  was  a  tacit 

acknowledgment  of  that    slavery,     against  which  they  had 
•with  so  much  bravery  repeatedly  contended. 

Roderic  dividing  Wales  into  three  principalities,  bequeathed 
them  to  his  three  sons.  And  South  Wales  became  the 
portion  of  his  second  son  Cadelh.  (Among  his  successors 
several  strenuously  exerted  themselves  to  preserve  their 
independence ;  and,  whenever  under  the  necessity  of  ap- 
pealing to^arms,  behaved  'with  that  prowess  as  must  ever 
merit  esteem,  however  unfortunate  the  termination).  The 
succeeding  princes  of  South  Wales  were, 

907  1  HowelDha. 

948  2  Owen  ap  Howel  Dha. 

p8/  3  Meredith  ap  Owen. 

998  4  Llewelyn  ap  Sitsyllt. 

1021  5  Ryth  ap  Jestyn,  an  usurper. 

1031  6  Howel  and  Mredith. 

1042  7  Rytherch  and  Rys. 

I06l  8  Mredith  ap  Owen  ap  Edwin. 

1073  9  Rys  ap  Owen  and  Rytherch  ap  Carado. 

1077  1O  Rys  ap  Tewdwr  Mawr. 

1115  11  Griffith  apRys. 

1 137  12  Rys  ap  Griffith,  called  the  Lord  Rys. 

1196  13  Griffith  ap  Rys. 

1202  14  Rys  ap  Griffith. 

1222  15  Owen  ap  Griffith. 

1235  Itf  Mredith  ap  Owen. 


The  last-named  prince  died  in  ]  267 ;  and  daring  the  ten 
succeeding  years  continual  endeavours,  in  various  ways, 
were  exerted  to  maintain  their  country  from  subjugation : 
battles  and  submissions  were  frequent,,  and  contributions 
permitted.  But  in  12/7  the  final  submission  of  South  Wales 
to  Edward  I.  took  place,  and  since  that  time  it  has  been 
annexed,  with  all  Wales,  to  the  British  crown. 

It  is  greatly  to  be  lamented,  that  time  and  neglect 
have  suffered  so  many  superb  monuments  of  Roman  labor 
in  this  country  to  become  mingled  with  the  dust ;  or  what  a 
display  of  magnificence  and  simplicity,  beauty  and  propriety, 
might  now  remain  the  testimonials  of  genius,  perseverance, 
and  worth.  To  them,  under  Agricola,  are  to  be  attributed 
the  structures,  &c.  &c.  which  Caerwent,  Caerleon,  &c. 
abound  with  the  ruins  of. 

Notwithstanding  those  places  have  so  frequently  been  vi- 
sited for  the  purpose  of  procuring  some  of  the  numerous  relics 
buried  in  the  dust,  I  could  not  resist  an  impulse  to  make  one 
more  of  the  number,  nor  without  an  hope  my  efforts  would  be 
successful.  This  was  the  original  object  of  my  tour ;  and  I 
am  much  gratified  with  the  result,  by  the  interesting  part  taken 
by  many  to  promote  my  researches,  and  the  gift  of  several 
pieces  of  antiquity  that  were  presented  me,  which,  with  the 
numerous  coins,  will  be  enumerated  under  their  several 
heads  in  the  ensuing  pages.  I  am  well  persuaded,  should 
any  real  antiquary,  with  the  approbation  of  the  possessors,  be 



at  the  pains  -of  a  diligent  search,  they  would  be  rewarded,  by 
producing  to  the  world  many  curious  and  valuable  articles  that 
deserve  a  better  fate  than  cankering  in  oblivion.  To  such  only 
will  those  places  be  any  ways  interesting  ;  for,  to  the  cursory 
observer  little  else  can  be  seen  but  ruins  of  walls,  moulder- 
ing banks,  overgrown  with  bushes,  brambles,  &c.  where  once 
shone  cities  resplendent  with  magnificence  and  population. 

As  early  ages  have  borne  testimony  so  highly  creditable  to 

the  Silures,  so,  in  all  probability,  will  future  time  shew  the 

vast  importance  this  district  will  be  of  in  a  national  view,  from 
its  abundance  of  coal,  and  rich  stores  of  mineral,  so  pro- 
ductive, that  there  is  no  likelihood  of  their  being  exhausted. 
The  improvements  carrying  on  for  the  convenience  of  the 
country  at  large,  and  the  numerous  extensive  establishments, 
are  astonishing,  and  highly  worth  a  tourist's  trouble  to  visit 
them,  if  only  to  view  the  enterprising  spirit  existing  among 
the  opulent,  and  their  extraordinary  contrivances  to  obviate 
difficulties  and  extend  their  schemes ;  producing  at  once 
employment  for  several  thousands  of  hands,  and  wealth  to 
the  kingdom  in  general. 

To  accommodate  persons  who  are  inclined  to  amuse 
themselves  with  so  short  and  pleasant  a  journey,  was  the 
reason  of  my  connecting  these  observations,  and  giving  a 
resemblance  of  objects  I  thought  worthy  of  notice.  With  this 
view  it  is  offered  to  the  public,  and  particularly  to  the  visitants 
of  Clifton  and  the  Hotwells,  as  change  of  air  and  variety 


of  pleasing  objects,  divert  the  mind,  and  have  a  great 
tendency  to  restore  the  invalid ;  and  those  who  are  in 
the  enjoyment  of  health  may  both  please  the  eye  and  ani- 
mate the  feelings,  yielding  moral  reflections  inspired  by  wit- 
nessing beauty,  grandeur,  and  sublimity  of  scenes,  the  joint 
efforts  of  nature  and  art;  for  this  purpose  I  have  united  a 
concise  directory  to  several  interesting  objects,  and  watchfully 
collected  every  scattered  fragment  of  history,  desirous  of 
making  it  entertaining  to  the  reader,  and  useful  to  the  travel- 
ler, though  conscious  of  my  inability  to  decorate  the  page 
of  history  with  the  attire  of  graceful  language,  of  places 
which  have  been  so  numerously '  and  variously  described  by 
every  power  of  fascinating  and  picturesque  embellishments. 
This  disadvantage  was  severely  felt  when  measuring  those 
steps  which  have  been  so  accurately  trodden  and  surveyed 
by  Messrs.  Coxe,  Williams,  and  Warner,  who  were  not 
only  able  to  throw  every  light  and  lustre,  by  their  abilities 
and  eloquence,  but  employed  that  very  language  which 
alone  could  convey  the  true  description  ajid  characters  of 
places  and  countries,  not  only  in  their  present  state,  but  in 
their  progressive  fame  or  decay. 

In  this  small  tract  is  pointed  out  a  route  which  will  embrace 
a  number  of  venerable  piles,  include  scenery  in  beautiful 
forms  and  complexion,  and  direct  to  manufactories  truly  worth 
attending ;  a  circuit  by  no  means  expensive,  nor  wanting 
of  those  necessaries  which  render  travelling  convenient:  the 
whole  may  be  performed  in  a  few  days,  or  protracted  at 


pleasure;  the  roads  are  excellent;- the  accommodations  plen- 
tiful, and  where  they  are  not  altogether  good,  are  compensated 
by  civility  and  attention. 

I  am  aware  of  the  number  of  directories  extant,  offering 
their  assistance ;  but  for  such  purposes,  perhaps,  they  are 
not  altogether  applicable,  being  too  voluminous,  by  com- 
bining a  complete  tour  through  the  principality;  but  without 
any  view  to  lessen  them  in  the  estimation  of  the  public,  (for 
they  are  certainly  valuable  in  their  kind),  I  flatter  myself 
the  following  pages  will  fully  answer  every  end  that  can  be 
desired  in  so  compact  a  route,  and  prove  an  useful  pocket 
companion  during  an  excursion  which,  I  am  induced  to  hope, 
will  reward  the  tourist  with  pleasure,  health,  and  delight; 
and  actuate  the  reader  to  the  exercise  of  candour,  and 
where  errors  meet  the  eye  they  may  not  encounter  the 



A  TOUR,   &c. 

"  To  clear  the  course,  and  make  the  passage  free, 
"'For  travellers  all." 

VV  HEN  the  mind,  for  a  considerable  time, 
anticipates  enjoyment  from  an  undertaking,  it 
is- difficult  to  control  our  eagerness  to  commence, 
or  suppress  our  impatience  when  obstructions 
are  likely  to  oppose  the  execution. 

Having  formed  a  tour  through  some  part  of 
South  Wales,  and  desirous  of  inspecting  several 
matters  of  curiosity  and  singularity,  (of  which  I 
had  frequently  heard),  made  me  impatient  to 
commence  the  journey,  as  no  moment  of 


revolving  year  could  be  considered  .so  interesting, 
as  the  approach  of  harvest ;  when 

"  Fair  plenty  now  begins  her  golden  reign ; 

"  The  yellow  fields  now  wave  with  ripen'd  grain ; 

"  Joyons,  the  swains  renew  their  sultry  toils, 

"  And  bear  in  triumph  home  the  harvest's  spoils :" 

exhibiting    rustic    happiness,    among    the    busy 
groups  in  nature's  landscape. 

Although  the  day  fixed  for  my  departure  was 
ushered  in  dark,  rainy,  and  uncomfortable,  it  did 
not  prevent  my  setting  out,  though  obscured  much 
beauty  of  the  surrounding  country,  yet  the 
pleasing  villages  of  Westbury  and  Henbury  were 
peculiarly  attractive,  as  was  Blaize  Castle,  seated 
on  a  lofty  tumulus,  thickly  clothed  with  wood. 
The  tongue  being  the  organ  of  infprmation,  was 
employed  in  enquiring,  from  almost  every  tra- 
veller, the  distance  to  the  Ne'w  Passage ;  and  as 
they  might  perceive  my  anxiety  to  reach  it, 
so  they  were  willing  to  increase  it  by  the  usual 
ungenerous  practice  of  giving  misinformation  to 

On  reaching  the  eminence  of  Black  Horse  Hill, 
the  weather  prevented  a  rich,  beautiful,  and  exten- 
sive scene,  combining  land  and  water,  from  pre- 
senting itself.  From  Durdham  Down  to  the 
Marsh  Common,  the  road  is  bounded  on  each 
side  with  good  hedges  and  lofty  trees,  but  from 
thence,  nearly  to  the  Passage,  all  was  open  and 
uncheering  ;  cattle  were  numerous,  so  were  geese : 
the  former  bore  testimony  to  the  richness  of  the 
pasturage,  and  of  the  latter  it  is  remarked,  that 
those  which  are  taken  from  hence  have  a  fishy 
taste,  probably  from  their  feeding  on  shrimps, 
which  frequently  come  up  the  drains  cut  from  the 
marsh  to  the  Severn. 

On  reaching  the  Passage,  the  weather 
became  more  kind ;  and  as  I  was  disappointed  in 
crossing,  from  not  knowing  the  specific  times 
of  the  great  boat's  departure  (which  also  takes 
carriages  and  horses),  an  opportunity  offered  of 
viewing  a  variety  of  different  objects,  from  the- 
partial  gleam  of  sunshine  that  would  sometimes 
burst  from  broken  clouds  :  it  being  high-water, 
and  a  spring  tide^  a  considerable  degree  of  mag- 

nificence  was  added  to  the  broad  face  of  the 
Severn;  and  whenever  the  sun  remained  clear;, 
the  Cambrian  hills  were  beautifully  displayed,  and 
the  cultivated  country  exhibited  the  luxuriant 
scene  of  an  abundant  harvest,  bending  wjth  the 
bounteous  gifts  of  Providence,  waiting  the  hand 
of  man,  to  make  him  sensible  of  it's  goodness, 
and  his  heart  grateful.  It  was  only  on  those 
spots  gilded  by  the  sun's  bright  rays,  that  the 
country  could  be  particularly  seen,  as  all  the  rest 
was  deeply  enveloped  in  mist. 

The  views  from  thence  are  extremely  pictu- 
resque ;  one  presenting  the  entrance  to  the  Wye, 
Piercefield  woods,  and  a  long  range  of  ornamented 
hills  and  mountains;  another,  the  entrance  of  the 
Bristol  river  Avon,  woods  of  Portishead,  and  a 
vast  sweep  of  Somersetshire  ;  up  the  river,  the 
forest  of  Dean,  the  Old  Passage  houses,  Aust 
Clift,  and  a  great  tract  of  Glocestershire  ;  and  I 
was  informed  that  down  the  channel,  in  fine  wea- 
ther, with  the  assistance  of  a  glass,  the  places  of 
Newport  and  Cardiff,  as  well  as  the  Holmes 
islands,  might  be  distinctly  seen. 

While  thus  delighted  with  the  surrounding 
scenery,  gazing  on  the  Severn,  and  rambling 
over  pebbles  polished  by  the  action  of  its  waves, 
it  recalled  to  my  remembrance  'twas  the  cele- 
brated SABRINA,  of  whom  the  fabulated  story 
is  thus  penned  by  the  immortal  MILTON  : 

"  There  is  a  gentle  nymph  not  far  from  hence, 

"  That  with  moist  curb  sways  the  smooth  Severne  stream. 

"  SABRINA  is  her  name,  a  virgin  pure; 

"  Whilome  she  was  the  daughter  of  Locrine, 

"  That  had  the  sceptre  from  his  father  Brute. 

"  She,  guiltless  damsel,  flying  the  mad  pursuit 

"  Of  her  enraged  step-dame  Guendden, 

"  Commended  her  fair  innocence  to  the  flood, 

"  That  stayed  her  flight  with  his  cross-flowing  course. 

"  The  water  nymphs  that  in  the  bottom  play'd, 

"  Held  up  their  pearly  wrists,  and  took  her  in, 

"  Bearing  her  strait  to  aged  Nereus'  hall ; 

"  Who,  piteous  of  her  woes,  rear'd  her  lank  head, 

"  And  gave  her  to  his  daughters  to  imbathe  x 

"  In  nectar'd  lavers  strow'd  with  asphodil, 

"  And,  through  the  porch  and  inlet  of  each  sense, 

"  Dropt  in  ambrosial  oils  till  she  reviv'd, 

"  And  underwent  a  quick  immortal  change, 

"  Made  goddess  of  the  river." 

To  avoid  delay  in  pursuing  a  journey  which 
might  require  dispatch,  and  having  suffered  that 

inconvenience  from  want  of  information,  it  may 
not  be  deemed  improper  to  give  some  instruc- 
tions respecting  the  passage. 

The  course  of  the  river  stretches  nearly  east 
and  west;  consequently,  those  winds  are  to  be 
preferred ;  the  former,  while  the  tide  is  on  the 
flood,  and  the  latter  during  its  ebb  ;  which,  if 
the  elements  will  permit,  is  nearly  on  the  slack  of 
its  flux  and  reflux,  when  the  great  boat  usually 
passes ;  but  should  the  wind  be  from  the  northern 
or  southern  points,  it  will  require  the  traveller  to 
be  at  the  Passage  an  hour  at  least  before  the 
above-appointed  time.  The  state  of  the  tides 
may  always  be  known  by  enquiry  at  Bristol,  at 
which  place  it  is  nearly  half  an  hour  later.  The 
rates  of  passage  by  the  great  boat  are, 

s.     d. 


Four-wheeled  Carriage     ------     120 

Two-wheeled        -_-------oo 

A  Man  and  Horse       -------        10 

>    A  Horse  alone      ---------i     o 

A  Foot  Passenger    ---------       o 

Small  boats,  capable  of  carrying  a  private  party,  are  always  ready,  at  the 
rate  of  5*.  exclusive  of  gd.  for  each  person. 

As  the  sun  had  now  sufficient  power  to  make 
the  mist  obedient  to  its  rays,  leaving  only  a  few 
suspended  clouds  midway  down  the  mountains' 
sides,  it  unfolded  to  my  view  such  a  richness,  that 
made  me  impatient  to  set  foot  on  a  country  which 
was  painted  in  colours  beyond  the  magic  powers 
of  a  Claude  to  imitate; — procuring  a  small  boat, 
crossed  the  Passage,  which,  at  high  water,  is 
about  three  miles;  and  from  the  rapidity  of  its 
current,  the  numerous  sand  banks  and  rocks, 
was  convinced  how  necessary  it  is  to  be  under 
the  guidance  of  a  careful  person  ;  and,  in  justice 
to  those  employed,  it  is  right  to  observe,  that 
they  are  in  every  respect  perfectly  qualified  for 
the  business. 

The  black  face  of  Charston  rock  formed  a 
conspicuous  feature  in  this  sheet  of  water  :  but 
as  it  is  liable  to  be  overflowed  by  high  tides, 
from  the  summit  having  been  employed  in  the 
construction  of  Newport  bridge,  it  is  found 
necessary  to  have  a  small  obelisk  on  it,  to  point 
its  situation.  Some  authors  have  presumed 
that  this  was  the  first  landing-place  of  the 


Romans  in  this  part  of  the  country,  perhaps 
on  the  authority  of  a  few  coins  having  been 
found  on  it,  and  being  the  only  place  now  sur- 
rounded by  water;  but  this  mistake  has  probably 
arisen  from  a  place  much  to  the  westward  of 
it,  that  was  formerly  insulated,  though  now 
united  by  earthy  ties  of  sand  and  pebbles 
thrown  up  by  the  violence  of  the  waters.  The 
Monmouth  shore  is  rocky,  steep,  and  grotesque, 
and  the  red  cliffs  near  the  landing-place,  capped 
with  foliated  vegetation,  form  an  unusual  and 
pleasing  variety. 

On  reaching  the  summit  of  the  hill,  the  inn 
presents  itself;  where,  having  given  directions 
relative  to  my  horse,  which  was  to  come  over 
in  the  large  boat,  directed  my  course  to  Ma- 
therne,  for  the  purpose  of  visiting  the  shrine  of 
king  Theodorick,  who  gloriously  fell  in  the 
struggle  for  his  country's  liberty,  on  the  invasion 
of  the  Saxons  :  of  him  it  is  recorded,  that  he 
inarched  an  army  in  person  and  defeated  them  ; 
but  being  mortally  wounded  in  the  engagement, 
was  returning  to  die  among  his  friends,  and 


desired  his  son  to  build  a  church  wherever  he 
breathed  his  last ;  which  has  been  done,  and 
where  the  following  epitaph  to  his  memory  has 
been  placed  by  bishop  Godwin,  decorated  by 
painted  ornaments  and  military  emblems : 

"  Here  lyeth  intombed  the  body  of 
Theodorick,  King  of  Morganuch  or 

,  Glamorgan,  commonly  called 
St.  Thewdrick,  and  accounted  a  Martyr 
because  he  was  slain  in  a  battle 
against  the  Saxons,  being  then  Pagans  and  in 

'  defence  of  the  Christian  Religeon,  The 
Battle  was  fought  at  Tintern,  where 
he  obtained  a  great  victory,  he  died  here 
being  in  his  way  homeward,  three 
Days  after  the  battle,  having  taken 
Order  with  Maurice  his  Son  who  suc- 
ceeded him  in  the  Kingdom,  that  in  the 
same  place,  he  should  happen  to  decease  a 
Church  should  be  built,  and  his  body  buri- 
ed in  the  same,  which  was  accordingly  performed. 
,  in  the  Year  600" 

Among  the  remains  of  mortality  in  this  church 
are  the  heart  and  bowels  of  Miles  Salley,  a 
bishop  of  Landaff,  deposited,  according  to  the 
direction  of  his  will,  near,  the  tomb  of  king 


Thcodorick ;  and  his  body  before  the  image  of 
St.  Andrew,  in  St.  Mark's  church,  Bristol,  anno 
15 16,  when  he  bequeathed  his  mitre  to  Landaff; 
and,  during  his  life,  added  considerably  to  the 
palace  at  Matherne. 

Anthony  Kitchen,  otherwise  Dunstan,  was 
interred  here  in  1566,  aged  90.  This  person  is 
recorded  for  impoverishing  the  see  of  Landaff, 
of  which  he  was  bishop,  that  his  successors  con- 
sidered it  as  nearly  ruined  by  him.  This  man 
was  originally  a  Benedictine  monk  of  Westmin- 
ster, afterwards  abbot  of  Eynsham,  near  Oxford; 
which  by  officiously  surrendering  to  Henry  VIII. 
he  obtained  a  pension  of  1331.  6s.  Sd.  per  annum, 
with  the  office  of  king's  chaplain,  and  a  restoration 
of  some  temporalities  to  the  bishopric,  when  he 
was  elected  to  the  see. 

Having  satisfied  myself  with  viewing  the  church 
and  it's  contents,  I  enquired  for  the  bishop's  pa- 
lace, when  my  guide  immediately  pointed  to  a 
building  resembling  a  barn ;  angry  at  the 
supposed  slander,  I  desired  him  not  to  be  witty 


at  my  expence,  nor  attempt  his  "  tricks  on 
travellers/'  but  his  solemn  declaration  prompted 
me  to  believe  what  I  wish  I  could  refute.  I  asked 
myself,  '  Could  ever  this  be  the  residence  of  epis- 
copal dignity?'  I  could  make  no  reply,  and  not 
daring  to  cast  my  eyes  on  it  again,  knowing  it 
had  been  unjustly  injured  in  my  mind,  took 
my  leave,  silent  and  thoughtful,  conscious  of 
wrongly  estimating  value  from  external  appear- 
ance. That  it  has  been  the  residence  of  the 
bishops  of  the  diocese  no  one  can  dispute  the 
numerous  authorities ;  and  the  following  letter, 
which  was  written  there,  evinces  that  hospitality 
was  as  characteristic  a  virtue  of  the  country  iji 
those  days,  as  it  is  in  the  present  exercised  with 
such  unbounded  share. 

"  To  the  most  reverend  Father  in  God,  the  right  honourable  and 
"  my  singular  good  Lord,  my  Lord  of  Canterburye's  Grace, 
"  thes  be  dd  &c. 

"  My  bownden  dewtye  to  your  Grace  most 

"  humbly  premysed,  havyng  receaved  your  honorable  L.res  dated  at 
"  Lambeth  the  18th  daye  of  November  last  past,  requyryng  me  to  certyfye 
"  your  Grace  the  Names  and  Surnames  of  all  and  singuler  Deanes,  Arch- 
"  deacons,  Chauncelers,  Chaunters,  and  others  having  any  Dignitye  in 
"  my  Cathedrall  Church  of  Landaff,  with  all  the  Prebendaryes  of  the 


"  same,  and  also  of  all  and  singular  Parsons  and  Vicares  within  my 
"  Dioces  and  howe  many  of  them  be  resydent,  and  where  the  absents  do 
"  dwell  and  remayne,  and  howe  many  of  them,  as  well  of  my  sayd 
«'  Cathedrall  Church  as  of  others  benefyced,  be  neither  Frists  nor  Deacons, 
"  notyng  also  the  Names  of  all  such  as  be  lerned  and  able  to  preche, 
"  and  finally  howe  many  of  them  do  kepe  hospitalytye,  as  by  the  same 
"  your  Graces  L'res  more  playnly  doth  and  niaye  appere,  I  have  send  unto 
"  your  Grace  herein  enclosed  a  just  and  trewe  certyfycate  of  all  the  pre- 
"  mysed,  according  to  my  Dewtye,  and  your  Graces  expectations,  beyng 
"  readye  at  all  times  to  accomplysh  your  Graces  Commandement  to  the 
"  uttermost  of  my  Power,  as  knoweth  the  lyving  Lord,  who  have  your  good 
"  Grace  in  his  blessed  tuition. 

"  From  my  Manor  of  Matherne,  the  20  Day  of  January,  1560. 
"  Your  Graces  to  command 


Leaving  Matherne,  I  returned  to  the  Passage 
inn  by  the  boundary  of  St.  Pie'rre's  park,  lament- 
ing much  less  the  exclusion  from  a  sight  of  the 
pictures,  antiquities,  and  beauties  of  the  place, 
than  being  prevented  an  opportunity  of  knowing 
something  of  a  man  whose  name  is  seldom  men- 
tioned but  to  be  praised.  Following  a  pleasing 
winding  footpath,  a  short  mile  westward  of  the 
inn,  on  the  brink  of  the  cliff,  reached  trinity 
Chapel,  Sudbrook,  and,  as  not  unfrequently  with 
deserted  piles,  gracefully  mantled  and  encircled 
with  ivy.  Persons  are  now  living  who  remem- 


ber  the  chapel   being  used    for   divine   service; 

but  for  what  reason  the  edifice  was  suffered  to 
go  to  decay,  is  not  strictly  known;  its  relics 
shew  it  to  have  been  of  early  date,  (at  least 
70O  years) ;  but  by  whom,  or  how  appropri- 
ated, whether  as  a  priory,  or  otherwise,  no 
traces  are  left,  at  least  that  I  could  learn, — 
its  retired  situation,  overshadowed  by  trees, 
produced  peaceful  meditation ;  nor  could  I  avoid 
feeling  an  interest  for  its  future  fate,  from  the 
encroachments  of  the  Severn,  which  seems  to 


have  "  marked  it  for  its  own,"  having  scarcely- 
left  sufficient  support  for  its  mouldering  foun- 
dation. Its  ruins  are  really  picturesque,  and  its 
little  belfry,  raising  its  head  from  a  mass  of 
ivy,  truly  pleasing.  It  was  in  vain  to  attempt 
decyphering  the  characters  on  the  remnants  of 
tombs,  as  they  were  so  incrusted  with  vege- 
tation, and  those  deep  grooves,  which  once 
constituted  letters,  were  now  inhabited  by  loftier 
grasses  and  mosses ;  having  bestowed  consider- 
able pains  and  perseverance  on  one  appearing 
of  modern  date,  with  difficulty  made  it  out  to  be 
to  the  memory  of  Blethen  Smith,  who  died  17th 
October,  1757,  aged  <5o  ;  of  this  person  is  related 
the  following  story  : — "  While  on  his  death-bed 
he  entreated  that  he  might  be  consigned  to  the 
Severn,  at  a  place  called  the  Shoots ;  his  friends 
earnestly  requested  him  not  to  continue  in  such  a 
wish,  as  it  would  be  too  painful  a  task  on  their 
feelings  to  execute  : — he  then  revoked  it,  and 
desired  to  be  interr'd  in  this  chapel,  adding,  as  it 
will  eventually  find  a  watery  grave,  from  the  river 
so  hastily  encroaching  and  sapping  its  foundation, 
his  desire  would  be  gratified."  The  following  lines- 


may  not  be  uninteresting,  as  they  contain  so  true 
a  description  of  the  chapel  in  its  present  state  : — 

"  A  mouldering  structure  then  appeared  in  view, 

"  Around  whose  top  the  creeping  ivy  grew  : 

"  Once  a  fair  church,  adorned  by  curious  art, 

"  In  crumbling  stones  now  dropping  part  from  part, 

"  White-thorns  and  briars  interwoven  round, 

«'  Vie  with  its  top  and  fill  the  desert  ground  j 

"  Denying  entrance  to  the  curious  eye, 

"  To  view  the  graves  that  underneath  them  lie  : 

"  When  thus  my  thoughts  with  meditation  glow, 

"  And  thus  my  words  in  mournful  accents  flow  : 

'  Is  this  the  place  where  numerous  footsteps  trod  ; 

'  Where  living  votaries  fill'd  the  house  of  God  ? 

'  Where  the  full  chorus  of  the  sounding  choir 

*  Bade  one  loud  strain  of  prayer  and  praise  aspire  ? 
'  How  silent  now  the  desolated  spot, 

*  Its  paths  untrodden,  and  its  use  forgot !'  " 

Near  the  foot  of  the  chapel,  are  the  remains  of 
a  Roman  entrenchment ;  but  as  considerable  part 
has  been  destroyed  by  the  Severn  washing  its 
shores,  it  is  not  easy  to  discern  what  might  have 
been  its  original  shape  or  size,  the  present  ele- 
vated rampart  encloses  an  area  of  upwards  of  30O 
yards,  and  the  whole  appears  nearly  of  a  right-r 
angular  form,  except  bending  inwards  at  the  west- 

ward  point ;  it  is  presumed  formerly  to  have  been 
separated  from  the  main  land,,  and  erected  by  the 
Romans,  to  cover  the  disembarkation  of  their 
troops.  This  place  is  considered  as  one  of  the 
links  in  the  line  of  camps  and  fortresses  from 
Bath  to  the  greater  stations  in  the  country  of  the 
Silurcs,  as  it  was  an  undeviating  principle  with 
them  to  have  a  direct  communication  from  one 
place  to  another  unobstructed,  were  the  distance 
ever  so  great.  Some  coins  of  that  empire  have 
been  found  here,  but  I  could  not  learn  who  had 
any  in  their  possession. 

A  short  walk  across  the  fields  brought  me  to 
the  small  village  of  Portscuit ;  where  I  found 
nothing  remarkable,  but  rendered  interesting  from 
a  knowledge  of  its  hospitable  Rector. 

At  the  extremity  of  those  plains  called  Caldecot 
Level,  stand  the  picturesque  and  interesting  ruins 
of  its  castle.  The  magnitude  and  figure,  joined 
to  the  variety  of  forms  for  the  different  purposes 
of  defence,  shew  it  to  have  been,  in  early  ages,  of 
considerable  consequence;  sufficient  vestiges  are 


remaining  to  percei\7e  that  elegance  was  added  to 

solidity,  and  leave  not  the  shadow  of  a  doubt, 
that  it  was  adapted  for  the  residence  of  a  noble 
proprietor :  and  historians  pronounce,  this  place 
was  particularly  connected  with  the  birth  of  king 
Henry  VII.  The  real  time  of  its  founding  is 
uncertain.  Leland  says,  "  the  castle  of  Cale- 
t(  coyd  longing  to  the  Kinge,  is  in  base  Vente- 
"  land,  toward  the  Severn  shore,  not  far  from 
"  Matthern,"  and  Dugdale  relates,  that  in  1221, 
Humphrey,  earl  of  Hereford  did  homage,  and 


had  livery  of  his  castle  of  Caldecot ;  the  ances- 
tors of  the  Bohun  family  were  very  early  pos- 
sessors; and  on  the  assassination  of  the  earl  of 
Hereford,  in  13Q73  the  castle  was  taken  to  by 
the  crown,  but  was  restored  to  the  son  by  Henry 
IV ;  at  his  death  it  became  the  property  of  the 
earl  of  Stafford  by  marriage  ;  and  on  the  division 
of  the  estates  among  the  Bohun  family,  it  was 
retained  by  Henry  VI. ;  afterwards  it  belonged 
to  Edward  IV.  who  granted  it  to  lord1  Herbert, 
of  Raglan,  afterwards  created  earl  of  Pembroke ; 
it  then  reverted  to  Henry  VI. ;  and  was  again 

taken  to  by  Edward  IV. ;  by  Richard  III.  it  was 

••          .  .  .  .  •  * 

returned  to  the  duke  of  Buckingham,  a  descend- 
ant of  the  earl  of  Stafford ;  but  when  both  the 
duke  and  his  son  were  beheaded  for  rebellion, 
the  castle  was,  by  Henry  VIII.  added  to  the  duchy 
of  Lancaster,  from  which  it  was  leased  by  the 
earls  of  Worcester,  during  the  reigns  of  Elizabeth, 
James  I.  and  Charles  I.  and  is  now  held  by 
C.H.LEIGH,  Esq; 

It  cannot  but  be  regretted,  that  mansions  so 
long  in  succession  of  noble  families  should  be 

suffered  to  decay;  one  would  imagine  the  pride  of 
ancestry  would  be  sufficient  reason  to  preserve 
the  residence  of  their  progenitors,  and  the  various 
matters  belonging  to  it  from  dilapidation,  and 
hand  down  the  mode  and  construction  of  different 
ages  to  posterity.  It  is  a  subject  that  diffuses  a 
gloom  over  the  fancy,  and  tinctures  the  thoughts 
with  sorrow.  , 

For  defence  it  was  strong,  and  almost  impreg- 
nable; and  from  the  variety  of  formation,  it  is 
evident  it  was  built  at  different  times,  as  Saxon 
and  Norman  characters  are  still  visible.  The 
entrance  and  front  of  the  castle  have  well  sur- 
vived the  injuries  of  time,  and  give  it  a  grand 
and  venerable  appearance:  the  ivy,  with  which 
it  is  thickly  coated,  makes  it  difficult  to  discern 
its  upper  form,  and  now  serves  only  as  a  re- 
tired retreat  for  those  birds  which  withdraw  from 
the  busy  scenes  of  day.  The  whole  has  been 
surrounded  by  a  moat,  which,  when  the  river 
Throggy  was  more  serviceable,  mrght  have  been 
easily  filled  with  water;  the  remains  of  the  keep, 
and  the  communications,  a  curious  observer  may 


trace,  and  find  abundant  matters  to  prove  its 
former  consequence :  its  original  erection  was 
undoubtedly  for  security,  the  situation  determin- 
ing it  not  to  be  chosen  for  the  -sake  of  beauty,  as 
it  neither  coYnmands  grandeur  of  scenery  or  sin- 
gularity of  landscape  ;  yet,  on  the  whole,,  has  an 
awful  and  pleasing  effect. 

In  all  probability  these  parts  have  borne  great 
interest,  for  we  are  told,  the  Throggy  was  navi- 
gable unto  Caerwent,  which  was  a  mart  of  some 
consequence;  if  this  was  the  case,  it  is  not  unlikely 
but  Caldecot  was  intended  for  the  protection 
of  the  surrounding  country.  That  Portscuit  was 
anciently  a  port  we  are  certain  from  history,  as 
well  as  the  tradition  of  the  natives,  but  time,  and 
the  alteration  of  the  currents  in  the  Severn,  have 
reduced  this  once  busy  place  to  a  little  creek, 
scarcely  ever  used,  except  in  imminent  danger, 
by  the  small  craft  that  navigate  the  Severn  and 

One  can  rarely  travel  for  any  distance  in  this 
quarter,  without  perceiving  indubitable  proofs  of 


the  splendor  that  has  reigned.  Indeed  the  local 
situation,  and  numerous  conveniencies,  were  suf- 
ficient inducements  to  give  these  parts  the  pre- 
ference to  others,  and  to  render  them  eligible 
to  the  Romans  for  stationary  purposes.  Through- 
out the  whole  kingdom  it  is  but  seldom  we  can 
discover  the  want  of  judicious  reasons  in  any  of 
their  fixed  residences  ;  their  roads  for  communi- 
cation are  numerous,  and  monuments  of  their 
unwearied  assiduity,  convince  us  that  nothing 
was  left  undone  for  convenience  or  security. 

Although  the  present  appearance  of  Caerwent 
has  nothing  respectable  or  inviting,  yet  it  deserves 
every  attention  that  can  be  bestowed  by  the 
antiquarian  or  lover  of  those  scites  memorable 
for  having  been  the  scenes  of  magnificence,  ge- 
nius, and  heroism.  Roman  greatness  has  at  this 
place  shone  with  a  splendor  little  inferior  to  any 
other  part  of  the  kingdom  ;  fragments  of  stately 
piles,  and  innumerable  coins  and  medals,  have 
been  found  to  prove  the  consequence  this  place 
has  borne  among  their  stations. 


It  is  situated  on  the  Via  Julia,,  or  military  road, 
which,  Camden  informs  us,  was  made  in  the  year 
80,  by  Julius  Frontinus;  but  now  few  are  the 
remains  whereby  it  can  be  traced;  the  walls  which 
enclosed  the  fortified  space  may  still  be  ascertained 
by  close  investigators,  and  those  parts  which  are 
distinct,  exhibit,  perhaps,  the  most  perfect  rem- 
nants of  Roman  masonry  in  the  kingdom,  and 
prove  the  judicious  means  they  used  to  render 
their  works  as  lasting  as  could  be  done  by  human 
perseverance.  Some  idea  of  its  original  strength 
may  be  formed  by  a  part,  nearly  ten  yards  long, 
and  of  the  whole  thickness,  which  has  separated 
from  the  rest  and  completely  rolled  over.  LE- 
LAND,  who  was  here  in  the  sixteenth  century, 
says  it  had  then  the  appearance  of  having  been 
"  Sumtyme,  a  fair  and  large  Cyte ;"  that  the 
"  places  where  the  1111  gates  was,  yet  appeare;" 
and,  "  in  digging  they  finde  fundations  of  great 
ee  Brykes,  Tessellata,  Pavimenta  and  Numismata, 
"  argentea,  simul  et  aerea." 

British  histories  of  the  central  ages  are  in  gene- 
ral silent  relating  to  Caerwent,  nor  are  the  Welsh 


writings  very  communicative,  and  the  spot  which 
was  originally  occupied  by  numerous  Roman  edi- 
fices, are  substituted  by  few  houses,  cottages,  and 
a  church,  all  of  which  were  apparently  raised 
from  the  fragments  and  facings  of  former  splen- 
dor ;  and,  in  all  probability,  where  10,OOO  souls 
have  inhabited,  there  are  not  at  this  time  more 
than  100  persons, 

This  was  the  Venta  Silurum  of  Antoninus,  and 
is  supposed  to  be  the  capital  of  the  Silures  before 
the  Roman  conquest;  afterwards  it  was  considered 
to  have  held  its  dependence  on  Caerleon,  to 
which  place  there  is  a  tradition,  that  it  also  had 
a  communication  by  a  subterraneous  passage, 
whose  entrance  was  from  a  lane  which  still  re- 
tains the  name  of  Arthur. 

On  three  sides  may  be  observed  what  was  once 
a  deep  moat ;  and  on  the  western  end  of  the  south 
front,  are  three  half  bastions  projecting  from  the 
wall,  of  octangular  form,  each  side  measuring 
about  ten  feet :  the  whole  is  in  circuit  more 
than  a  mile,  and  where  the  walls  are  most  perfect^ 


may  be  twelve  feet  thick  at  the  bottom,  and  eight 
or  nine  at  top  ;  reaching  to  the  height  of  twenty- 
four  feet.  It  is  impossible  not  to  notice  the  pleas- 
ing and  singular  appearance  of  the  ruins,  in  some 
places  broken,  mouldering,  and  melancholy;  in 
others  agreeably  diversified  by  a  variety  of  foliage  : 
trees  and  ivy  adorn  the  ruins,  and  contribute 
to  awaken  sensations  of  departed  magnificence, 
now  only  known  from  the  silent  records,  with 
which  the  place  numerously  abound. 

There  is  no  doubt  but  Agricola  resided  here  for 
some  time;  and  Tacitus's  assertion  of  his  endea- 
vouring to  soften  the  ferocious  manners  of  the 
Britons,  by  introducing  refinements  and  specimens 
of  the  arts,  seems  realised  by  the  tessellated  pave- 
ment, which,  when  originally  discovered  in  1777* 
must  have  been  beautiful  indeed ;  as  the  follow- 
ing is  the  elegant  description  by  Mr.  WYNDHAM: 

"  The  pavement  is  In  length  twenty-one  feet  six  inches,  and  in  breadth 
"  eighteen  feet,  a  border  edged  with  the  Greek  scroll  and  fret,  surrounds  the 
"  whole,  but  on  the  north  side  this  border,  being  upwards  of  three  feet,  is 
"  much  broader  than  on  the  other  side ;  this  was  designed  in  order  to 
"  reduce  the  circles  within  a  square.  These  circles  are  about  three  feet 


«  diameter,  and  are  encircled  with  a  variety  of  elegant  ornaments,  and 
"  separated  from  each  other  by  regular  and  equal  distances.  I  think  there 
"  are  thirteen  of  these  circles.  The  pieces  of  which  the  pavement  is  com- 
"  posed  are  nearly  square,  the  breadth  of  them  being  about  the  size  of  a 
"  narrow  die ;  these  are  of  various  colours,  blue,  white,  yellow,  and  red  ; 
"  the  first  and  second  are  of  stone,  and  the  yellow  and  red  are  of  terra  cota  ; 
"  by  a  judicious  mixture  of  these  colours,  the  whole  pattern  is  as  strongly 
"  described  as  it  would  have  been  in  oil  colours.  The  original  level  is 
"  perfectly  preserved,  and  the  whole  composition  is  so  elegant  and  well 
"  executed,  that  I  think  it  has  not  been  surpassed  by  any  mosaic  pavement 
"  that  has  been  discovered  on  this,  or  even  on  the  other  side  of  the  Alps. 
"  In  my  opinion,  it  is  equal  to  those  beautiful  pavements  which  are  pre- 
"  served  in  the  palace  of  the  King  of  Naples  at  Portice.  I  am  strongly 
"  inclined  to  think,  that  it  is  of  the  same  age  with  Agricola."* 

Another  author  adds,  (e  This  probably  was  the 
ec  state  room  or  tent  of  the  prefect  of  the  Legio 
"  Secunda  Aug.  from  an  inscription  on  a  stone  dug 
"  up  here. — JULIA  ESSEUNDA  vixit  annos  xxxv." 

From  this  description  I  was  eager  to  see  it,  and 
having  procured  leave  of  the  tenant,  and  given  a 
precaution  not  be  disturbed  in  my  research, 
proceeded  to  the  place  through  an  orchard  whose 
spreading  branches  were  bending  under  the  weight 
of  fruit,  and  modestly  paying  homage  to  that  soil 

*  Archseologia, 


which  gave  them  birth ;  but  conceive  my  aston- 
ishment and  chagrin,  to  find  the  remnants  of  that 
once  precious  relic,  were  then  being  unmercifully 
rooted  up  by  a  sow  and  her  numerous  offspring ; 
after  driving  them  away,  (with  no  slight  degree  of 
anger),  found  but  little  remaining,  and  that  little 
so  defaced  by  weeds  and  grass  as  to  be  scarcely 
seen,  and  though  a  day  was  nearly  bestowed  in 
'removing  the  obstructions,  I  was  unable  to  trace 
any  characters,  excepting  the  central  circle,  but 
am,  by  the  kindness  and  assistance  of  Mrs. 
LEE  SON,  of  Pontypool,  enabled  to  present  this 
now  interesting  relic  to  the  public ;  as  the  original 
drawing  in  the  library  of  Ruperra  was  destroyed 
m  the  unfortunate  conflagration  of  that  place 
in  J783. 

When  first  discovered,  the  proprietor  enclosed 
it  with  a  wall,  and  it  is  truly  to  be  regretted, 
that  such  methods  had  not  been  persevered  in 
as  would  have  preserved  that  excellent  curiosity 
from  the  injuries  of  the  elements  and  the  depre- 
dations of  numerous  visitors,  who,  not  regarding 
how  much  they  effectually  mutilated  its  original 


beauty,  were  anxious  to  possess  specimens  of  that 
antiquity,  and  have,  by  piece-meal,  conveyed  away 
a  considerable  portion  :  the  remains,  bearing  no 
longer  any  traces  of  its  former  character,  lay  in 
heaps  for  those  who  can  or  will  be  as  well  satisfied 
with  the  die,  as  the  elegance  of  the  pavement.  Se- 
veral of  them  I  brought  away,  but  could  not  find 
one  yellow,  therefore  presume  that  colour  was 
stained,  as  the  native  hues  of  the  stone  were  blue 
and  white,  and  the  red  a  terra  cota ;  all  of  which 
were  inlaid  in  a  white  cement :  much  of  the  or- 
chard is  very  uneven,  and  strewed  with  desolated 
heaps  of  ruins,  manifesting  the  foundation  of  other 
works  of  their  labour ;  with  remnants  of  tiles,  on 
the  surface  of  which  are  many  parallel  lines,  form- 
ing triangles  on  the  centre. 

In  a  field  west  of  the  church,  called  the  Copses, 
are  found  vast  quantities  of  scoria,  or  Roman 
cinders,  the  relics  of  melted  ore,  which,  from  the 
mode  of  smelting  in  those  days,  caused  so  con- 
siderable a  waste,  and  readily  accounts  why  such 
abundance  are  found  on  ancient  Roman  scites; 


they  extracted  the  ore  by  first  laying  an  high  tier 
of  wood,  and  then  a  layer  of  iron  stone  spread  over 
it,  thus  alternately,  until  the  pile  had  reached  the 
intended  height,  from  which  small  particles  would 

Near  the  walls  I  observed  a  curious  shrub  to 
vegetate  resembling  the  elder  both  in  appearance 
and  smell ;  but  on  close  investigation,  found  it 
materially  to  deviate,  not  only  by  a  fibred  stem, 
but  a  much  longer  and  narrower  leaf.  To  the 
Rev.  Mr.  WILLIAMS  I  was  particularly  indebted 
for  the  following  account  of  it  (and  whose  inde- 
fatigable assistance  in  several  other  interesting 
matters,  must  entitle  him  to  my  thanks),  it  has 
the  reputation  of  being  found  only  in  places 
formerly  the  scenes  of  dreadful  contests ;  it  dies 
with  the  stalk,  and  rises  fresh  every  spring,  yield- 
jng  an  abundance  of  juice,  which  is  deemed  ex- 
cellent for  swellings'  or  bruises,  and  particularly 
in  diseases  peculiar  to  the  female  breast ;  its 
Welsh  name  is  DAWLE-GWAD-GWYR-MARW; 
that  is,  growing  from  human  Hood. 

To  add  to  the  obligation,  he  presented  me 
with  the  remains  of  a  beautiful  Roman  pillar;  the 
capital  is  enriched  with  the  leaf  expressed  in  the 
composite  order,  the  shaft  decorated  with  foliated 
ornaments  in  excellent  preservation  :  these  he  has 
allowed  me  to  place  in  his  yard,  near  the  road 
side,  for  the  inspection  of  the  curious.  He  like- 
wise enabled  me  to  procure  numerous  coins,  many 
of  which  had  been  carefully  preserved  for  a  gentle- 
man who  visited  the  place  several  years  ago,  but  is 
now  supposed  to  be  dead.  Thus  I  was  extremely 
fortunate  in  becoming  the  possessor  of  a  valuable 
lot,  which,  otherwise,  I  might  have  been  years  in 
obtaining  ;  valuable,  not  as  a  treasure  of  money, 
but  of  information,  from  the  resemblance,  figures, 
and  inscriptions  that  adorn  them.  In  the  person 
arc  traced  those  features  which  characterise  a 
haughty,  cruel,  or  merciful  disposition ;  on  the 
reverse,  that  legendary  eloquence  beyond  the 
reach  of  manuscript ;  we  likewise  see  females, 
whose  beauty  has  been  the  happiness  or  misery 
of  whole  kingdoms,  and  has  swelled  volumes  in 
description ;  and  others,  though,  perhaps,  once 
famous,  totally  unheard  of  in  the  page  of  history. 


When  we  thus  reflect  on  the  number  of  these 
expressive  records  which  are  found,  we  cannot 
suppose  them  to  be  the  remains  of  negligence, 
but  the  enlarged  idea  of  a  great  and  flourishing 
nation,  scattered  on  days  of  triumph  and  public 
solemn  occasions,  to  point  where  they  had  colo- 
nized and  civilized  a  barbarous  people  by  their 
laws,  learning,  and  useful  arts.  Nothing  can 
more  positively  determine  them  to  be  NUMMI 
MEMORIALES,  than  the  following  circumstance  : 
a  pit  in  Glamorganshire,  attributed  to  remote  an- 
tiquity, with  no  history  or  tradition  to  inform  us 
by  whom  it  was  worked,  was  lately  explored,  when 
a  Roman  coin  of  Victorianus  was  found,  which  is 
in  the  possession  of  Lady  SALUSBURY. 

As  those  in  my  possession  are  of  undoubted 
authority,  I  shall  insert  those  which  are  in  the 
most  perfect  preservation  ;  but  as  coins  or  medals 
are  those  curious  subjects  requiring  the  pen  of  a 
virtuoso,  or  deep  read  in  history,  to  set  them  in 
their  true  light,  I  dare  not  attempt  a  particular 
illustration  of  them,  as  my  abilities  are  incompe- 
tent; and  with  diffidence  shall  observe  briefly  on 
such  as  appear  most  striking. 


A  double  face  without  nny  legend ;— reverse  not  distinguishable,  but  ROM  A 
to  be  observed.  This  coin  is  presumed  to  be  one  of  Cunokeliiie,  which 
British  histories  write  Kyml-dine,  he  lived  in  Rome  (which  accords  with  the 
word  Romi),  and  was  in  great  favor  with  Augustus  Caesar,  by  whom  he 
was  made  knight,  and  by  which  means  the  peace  of  Britain  was  continued 
without  the  payment  of  tribute.--^ tde  SPEED. 

An  embattled  head,  legend  COII ;"  by  some  it  is  supposed  to  be  a  coin 
of  COM i us; — reverse,  horse  feeding,  denoting  a  country  at  peace,  rich, 
and  in  abundance,  COLA. 

A  plain  head  ;  reverse,  man  on  horseback,  with  a  large  branch  over  his 
shoulder.  It  has  been  so  defaced  by  scouring,  that  the  beauty  of  its 
ancient  character  is  nearly  lost.  The  reverse  of  this  coin  resembles,  one 
found  near  Sudbrook  encampment,  as  mentioned  in  the  5th  vol.  of  tho 

Laureated  head,  ANTONINUS  PIUS.  P.  P.  T.  R.  P.  COS.  III. ;  reverse, 
figure  resembling  Hope,  a  wreath  in  one  hand  and  a  wand  in  the  other. 
Legend  not  discernible,  but  the  head  is  in  the  most  beautiful  antique 

Ar.  Laureated  head,  CAESAR  VESPASIANUS  AUG. ;  reverse,  a  sow, 
beneath  it  IMP.  the  remainder  so  encrusted  with  sacred  rust,  as  to  make  it 
not  legible.  A  similar  coin  is  in  the  collection  of  the  earl  of  Pembroke, 
Vide  Gentleman's  Magazine,  1767,  p.  498. 

Filleted  head,  D.  N.  DECENTIUS.  NOB.  CAES. ;  reverse,  the  CROSS 
which  Constantine  beheld  in  the  skies,  so  placed  that  it  formtd  the 
Greek  sentence,  "  In  hoc  vince,"  and  considered  an  auspicious  omen,  on 
the. eve  of  the  battle  against  Maxentius.  SALUS.  D.  D.  N.  N.  AUG.  ET, 

Laureated  head,  IMP.  CAES.  DOMITIAN.  AUG.  GERM.  COS.  XX. 
reverse,  an  altar ;  above  it,  SALUTIS ;  below,  AUGUSTI.     On  the  restor- 
ation of  health  to  the  Emperor. 

Laureated  head,  IMP.  CAESAR.  TRAJAN.  HADRIANUS.  AUG.; 
reverse,  figure  denoting  Peace,  with  cornucopia  in  one  hand,  and  vest  ga 
thered  up  with  the  other,  supposed  to  be  filled  with  fruit,  denoting  that 
plenty  is  the  consequence  of  peace.  PAX.  COS.  III. 

Head,  coronJ  radiata,  type  of  divinity,  the  spikes  representing  the  rays  of 
the  sun,  IMP.  CAES.  ALEXANDER.  AUG. ;  reverse,  figure  seated  in  a 
careless  posture,  the  emblem  of  security.  SECURITAS  PERPETUA. 

,  Ar.  Radiated  head,  IMP.  CAEi?.  ANTONINUS.  AUG. ;  reverse,  figure 
seated  between  two  military  emblems,  that  by  the  fidelity  of  the  army  pub- 
lic peace  was  preserved.  FIDES. 

Plain  head,  MAXIMUS  CAES.  GERM.;  reverse,  large  vase  which 
contained  the  frankincense  ;  and  other  sacrificing  utensils.  PIETAS.  AUG. 

Ar.  Female  head,  with  hair  enclosed  in  a  net,  FAUSTINA  AUGUSTA.  ; 
reverse,  figure  seated,  with  a  cornucopia  in  her  hand.  FORTUNAE 

Head,  corona  radiat",  IMP.  CALLECTUS.  FAV. ;  reverse,  figure  re- 
presenting Peace,  with  vest  filled,  an  olive  in  one  hand,  a  wand,  the  symbol 
of  divinity,  in  the  other,  PAX.  AUG.  ML. — This  is  one  of  the  most  perfect 
ever  seen. 

Female  head,  PLAUTILLA  AUGUSTA ;  reverse,  figure  in  the  character 
gf  Piety,  an  infant  in  one  arm,  a  wand  leaning  on  the  other,  PIETAS.  The 



<rhild  denotes  a  pledge  of  peace,  as  it  often  took  away  the  occasion  of  war 
by  cutting  off  all  disputes  to  the  succession,  which  made  it  to  be  considered 
a  public  blessing. 

Spired  head,  IMP.  VICTORIANUS.  AUG. ;  reverse,  figure,  a  cornu- 
copia in  one  hand,  pointing  with  the  other  to  the  ground,  which  had 
yielded  abundance.  ABUNDANTIA. 

Female  head,  SEVERINR.  AUG ;  reverse,  figure  between  two  military 
.ensigns,  CONCORDIA  MILITUM,  signifying  public  peace  was  preserved 
by  the  allegiance  of  the  army. 

Head,  CUALLICINLICINIUS.  P.  F.  AUG.;  reverse,  figure  being 
crowned  with  a  wreath  by  Fame,  supported  on  his  right  hand ;  in  his  left 
a  spear ;  on  the  ground,  a  bird  with  a  wreath  in  its  beak.  IOVI.  CONSER- 
VATORI.  S.N.N.  The  bird  expresses  the  symbol  of  vigilance,  by  which 
the  state  had  been  preserved. 

Laureated  head,  IMP.  CONSTANTINUS.  P.  F.  AUG;  reverse,  three 
standards,  S.P.Q.R.  OPTIMUS,  the  remainder  not  legible;  an  important 
service  performed  by  three  legions  which  were  thus  particularly  honoured  j 
but  this  reverse  likewise  denotes  an  oath  of  fidelity  to  the  Emperor. 

Helmeted  head,  IMP.  GRATIANUS.  P.  F.  AUG;  reverse,  a  soldier  in  a 
galley,  who  appears  to  be  encouraging  others  to  follow  him.  GLORIA. 
HONORUS.  to  perpetuate  some  memorable  invasion. 

Head,D.  N.  HONORUS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  a  soldier  with  the  labarum 
in  one  hand,  a  globe  in  the  other ;  GLORIA  ROMANORUM,  denoting, 
the  glory  of  Roman  arms  could  place  the  standard  in  any  part  of  the 


Head,  coroiu  radiatS,  IMP.  VICTORIANUS.  P.  F.  AUG;  reverse,  figure 
With  a  spear  in  one  hand,  a  shield  in  the  other.  ROMA.  AUG.  that  a  pre- 
paration for  war,  was  the  security  of  peace,  and  of  Rome. 

Ar.  Studded  fillet  head,  D.  N.  VALENS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  a  seated 
figure,  with  the  wand  of  divinity  by  her  side,  being  crowned  by  Fame 
URBS  ROMA;  by  religion  and  arms  the  Roman  city  is  secure. 

Ar.     Filleted  head,  D.  N.  VALENTIANUS.  IUN.  p.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse, 

figure  of  Rome  seated,  with  a  wand  in  one  hand,  and  being  crowned  by  a 

small  Victory,  which  she  supports  on  the  other;  by  her  side  is  a  child,  and 

above  it  a  star,  denoting  it  to  be  a  pillar  of  the  Julian  race.    URBS  ROMA. 


Ar.  Head,  IMP.  CAES.  DOMITIANUS  ;  reverse,  victory  seated,  offer- 
ing a  wreath.  VICTORI. 

Filleted  head,  D.  N.  VALLICINLICINIUS.  NOVE  ;  reverse,  a  building 
resembling  the  gate  of  a  city,  representing  the  Castra  Praetoria  at  Rome, 
the  magazine  of  com  for  the  people.  PROVIDENTIA.  ' 

Laureated  head,  being  crowned  by  Fame,  CONSTANTINUS.  IUN. 
KOB.  C ;  reverse,  BEATA  TRANQUILLITAS ;  an  altar  with  a  globe  upon 
it ;  above,  three  stars ;  by  victory  blest  tranquillity  was  restored  to  the 

Head,  D.  N.  VALENTINIANUS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  soldier  keeping  a 
captive  down  with  one  hand,  and  supporting  the  labarum  with  the  other  j 
denoting  the  conquest  of  a  colony. 

Head,  corona  radiata,  IMP,  CALLECTUS,  P\  F,  AUG;  reverse,  a  galley 
with  several  rowers ;  denoting  prosperity.  VIRTUS.  AUG. 


Filleted  head,  GRATIANUS.  P.  F.  AUG ;  reverse,  a  Roman  crowned  by 
Fame,  and  receiving  offers  from  a  supplicant  on  his  knees ;  legend  not 

Head,  CRISPUS.  NOB.  CAES;  reverse,  an  altar  with  VOTIS.  XX.  upon 
it,  and  a  globe  with  two  stars.  TRANQUILLITAS. ;  tranquillity  is  restored 
to  all  nations  in  the  world. 

Spired  head,  IMP.  CA.  TACITVS.  AUG;  reverse,  soldier  marching  with 
a  lance  in  his  hand,  and  iron  mace  on  his  shoulder,  such  as  was  some- 
times used  by  Roman  troopers.  MARS.  VICTOR. 

Head,  D.  N.  VALENTINIANUS  AUG  ;  reverse,  soldier  with  foot  on  a 
captive,  and  supporting  the  labaram.  VIRTUS.  EXERCITI. 

Wreathed  head,  IMP.  LICINIUS  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  soldier,  resting 
one  hand  on  a  shield,  in  the  other  a  weighty  javelin,  called  Pilum.  MAR- 

Plain  head,  D.  N.  MAGNENTIUS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  two  female 
figures  with  joined  hands,  representing  unity  supporting  a  shield,  on  which 
appears,  VOT.  V.  MULT.  X.  VICTORIAE.  D.  D.  N.  AUG. ;  amity  pro- 
cured by  some  memorable  victory. 


Helmeted  head,  URBS.  ROMA  ;  reverse,  wolf  suckling  two  children  ; 

above  them  a  branch,  a  symbol  of  victory,  and  two  stars;  denoting  them 
to  be  pillars  of  the  Julian  race,  and  preservers  of  the  Roman  city. 

Filleted  head,  VALENTIANUS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  soldier,  one  hand 
on  the  head  of  a  captive,  and  in  the  other  a  labarum,  on  which  was  wrought 
the  cross  that  Constantine  beheld  in  the  skies.  GLORIANO  HONORUS, 
.  I'idt  ADDISOX  on  Medals. 


Head,  with  rich  studded  fillet,  FLIVI.  CONSTANTIUS.  NOBE. ;  re- 
verse, two  soldiers  with  spears  in  their  hands,  looking  at  a  star  above  them. 
GLORIA  EXERCITVS.    The  father  of  Julius  Caesar  was  supposed  to  have 
been  changed  into  a  star,  the  appearance  of  which  was  considered  a  good  " 
omen,  and  caused  the  saying,  "  See,  Caesar's  lamp  is  lighted  in  the  skies." 

Laureated  head,  CONSTANTINUS.  MAX.  AUG. ;  reverse,  two  sol- 
diers with  spears,  guarding  two  standards ;  GLORIA  EXERCITVS,  in 
honor  of  victory,  and  in  compliment  to  the  soldiers- 

Head,  CONST ANS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  two  figures  of  Fame,  with 
wreaths.  VICTORIA  AVGUSTORUM. ;  struck  on  the  defeat  of  some 

Head,  CONSTANTINUS.  AUG. ;  reverse,  two  soldiers,  between  them 
the  labarum  with  a  cross,  such  as  our  Saviour  died  on.  GLORIA.  EX- 
ERCITUS. ;  struck  to  please  the  soldiery,  who  (not  the  emperor)  at  that 
time  managed  the  empire. 

Ar.  Head,  D.  N.  VALENTIANUS,  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  a  large  wreath, 
round  it,  VOT.  V.  MULT.  X. ;  meaning  that  the  people  vowed  that  the 
emperor  might  live  ten  years ;  and  by  multiplying  the  number,  wished 
him,  in  their  acclamation,  a  return  of  many  ten  years.  — Fide  CAMDEN. 

Head,  IMP.  COLLECTUS.  P.  F.  AUG.;  reverse,  a  galley  in  the  distinc- 
tion of  happiness.  VIRTUS.  AUG. 

Head,  corona  radiatS,  IMP.  C.  CURL.  DIOCLETI ANUS.  AUG. ;  re- 
verse, two  figures  with  hands  joined,  CONCORDIA.  MILITUM.;  sig- 
nifying that  amity  was  restored  among  the  soldiers. 

Head,  with  rich  studded 'fillet,  GRATIANUS.  AUG/;  reverse,  a  soldier 
leaning  on  his  shield  with  one  hand;  and  holding  the  standard  with  the 

other,  GLORIA.;  denoting,  the  standard  once  fixed  on  a  new  colony,  it  was 
his  duty  to  support  it  with  his  life. 

Filleted  head,  D.  N.  CONSTA.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  a  galley,  in  which 
is  a  seated  figure  appearing  to  be  a  captive,  and  a  soldier  supporting  the 
labarum,  being  crowned  by  victory.  FEL.  TEMP.  REPARATIS ;  in 
honour  of  vanquishing  an  enemy's  fleet. 

Filleted  head,  CONSTANS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  two  figures  offering 
very  thin  wreaths ;  between  them  a  narrow  sprig,  probably  parsley,  a 
garland  of  which  was  the  reward  to  the  victor  in  the  Nemean  games. 

Helmeted  head  ;  reverse,  figure  resembling  Hope,  with  the  symbol  of 
divinity  in  one  hand,  and  the  other  leaning  on  a  hoop,  or  circle,  the  em- 
blem of  eternity.  The  figure  is  mantled  in  a  MULTICIUM,  a  dress  so  thin 
that  the  symmetry  of  the  person  can  be  seen  through  it. 

Wreathed  head,  CONSTANTINUS.  P.  F.  AUG. ;  reverse,  figure  with 
rays  darting  from  his  head,  and  a  globe  in  his  hand.  This  coin  is  one  to 
shew  the  extent  of  human  vanity  and  the  effects  of  flattery,  denoting  him 
the  offspring  of  the  sun,  by  whose  beauty  the  world  was  enlightened. 

Wreathed  head,  VALENTINIANUS.  NOB.  CAES. ;  reverse,  figure  with 
a  spear  in  one  hand  arid  thunderbolt  in  the  other,  denoting,  if  aroused  to 
war,  a  terrible  and  irresistible  force  in  battle. 

Head,  corona  radiat",  IMP.  VICTORIANUS.  AUG. ;  reverie,  figure 
offering  the  emblem  of  peace  with  out  hand,  and  supporting  the  wand  of 
divinity  in  the  other.  PAX. 


Head,  with  studded  fillet,  D.  N.  GRATIANUS.  P.  F.-AUG. ;  reverse, 
figure  leaning  in  an  easy  posture,  with,  a  patera  in  her  hand,  from  which 
the  offerings  were  poured  on  the  altar.  SECURITAS.  REPUBLICAE. 

Filleted  head,  CONSTANTINUS.  MAX. ;  reverse,  two  armed  soldiers, 
standing  by  two  military  ensigns,  GLORIA.  EXERCITVS. ;  this  coin  was 
struck  in  compliment  to  the  army,  on  the  defeat  of  'Maxentius. 



Filleted  head,  VALENTINIANVS.  P.  R  AUG.;  reverse,  a  winged 
figure  dressed  in  a  MUITICIUM,  moving  in  haste,  a  palm  branch  in  one 
hand,  and  a  garland  in  the  other,  below  which  is  a  star;  RESTITUTOR^ 
REPVBLICA.  This  coin  was  struck  in  Antipch,  on  Britain  being  restored, 
which  was  in  a  declining  state. 

With  twenty-two  others,  principally  duplicates  to  the  above ;  and  thirty- 
eight  more,  not  sufficiently  perfect  to  be  described  with  certainty. 

Leaving  Caerwent,  at  the  distance  of  three 
miles,  Penhow  presents  itself  on  the  left. 

Of  this  castle  a  small  part  only  remains,  now 
humbled  to  the  occupation  of  a  farm-house;  it 
was  originally  a  fortress  of  consequence,  and  the 
residence  of  the  Seymour   family,  who  came  to 
Britain  at  the  Roman  conquest,  and  were  the  an* 
cestors  of  the  present  illustrious  families,  the  dukes 
of  Somerset  and  Northumberland.     It  has  been 
thought  that  Penhow  was  of  Roman  origin,  and 
one  of  the  agrarian  protections  to  the  forest  of 
Wentwood ;    at  all    events   the   Romans   seized 
this  with  other's  of  the  same  nature,  and  for  the 
same  purpose.     The  situation  is  in  many  respects 
delightful,  and  the  scenery  around  it  charming ; 
some  parts  open  and  exposing  distance,  mingled 
variations,    and  objects  valuable   or  interesting; 
other   parts  are  so   thickly  clothed  with  wood 
and   forest-like   appearance,    to   prevent   further 
penetration;  seated,  as  the  castle  is,  on  an  emi- 
nence, it  is   also   sufficiently  retired  and  suited 
for  quietness,  for  in  some  parts  of  its  neighbour- 
hood,  and  nearly  close  to  it,  it  cannot  be  imme- 
diately discovered.     The  wood  perceived  on  the 
right  hand,  linking  the  chain  of  "low  mountains, 


is    called    Wentwood,    formerly    of  astonishing 
extent,  and  a  royal  chace. 


Turning  from  the  turnpike  opposite  to  the  sign 
of  the  Unicorn,  pursued  a  rough,  uneven,  narrow 
road,  overshadowed  with  trees  ;  the  opening  from 
it  assumed  a  more  barren  aspect,  but  the  distance 
was  diversified  by  a  small  village  and  straggling 
cottages,  the  whole  bounded  by  the  Bristol  chan- 
nel, Holmes  islands,  &c.  &c.  forming  a  pleasing 
picture  of  innocent  and  rural  life,  and  a  fine 
perspective 'landscape,  so  happy  when  presented 

on  canvass. 

About  a  mile    and    half    from    the    road    is 
Pencoed     castle,     commanding    a    prospect    at 


once  delightful  and  pleasing ;  here  we  have 
ah  additional  instance  of  the  revolution  in  mat- 
ters of  this  kind ;  another  guarding  fortress 
to  the  forest  of  Wentwood,  and  consequently 
used  for  the  double  purpose  of  residence 
and  defence,  for  we  find  that,  originally,  the 
families  to  whom  they  severally  belonged,  made 
it  the  constant  rule  to  reside  in  them  ;  thus  they 
were  in  general  as  magnificent  in  construction, 
as  convenient  for  use  and  entertainment.  Several 
.very  respectable  families  acknowledge  their  ances- 
tors as  proprietors,  and  residents  at  this  place, 
and  from  its  remains  we  may  form  a  consider- 
able idea  of  its  former  consequence. 

How  far  such  fortresses  were  or  were  not 
attended  with  suspicion  and  trouble  to  the  several 
governments,  and  gave  protection  to  plots  and 
schemes  against  them,  I  shall  not  presume  to 
dwell  on ;  but  one  cannot  behold  the  dilapidation 
of  such  mansions  without  feeling  a  regret  that 
they  should  be  suffered  to  go  to  decay ;  or  that 
the  consequence  of  families  should  degenerate 
in  such  a  manner  as  to  disable  them  from  main- 


taining  that  hospitality   they  undoubtedly  distri- 
buted, and  the  necessary  employment  they  would 
naturally  give  to  a  number  of  the  neighbouring 
/•>••,  - 

There  is  a  majesty  and  a  peculiar  venerableness 
attaching  to  the  entrance  ;  and  the  remnant  of 
what  was  once  the  keep,  being  partially  covered 
by  creeping  foliage  hanging  gracefully  from 
its  battlements,  adds  an  additional  dignity  to  the 
whole.  The  variety  of  the  ornamental  parts,  and 
different  shape  of  the  windows  are  numerous, 
some  wholly  destroyed,  some  patched,  and  only 
those  of  immediate  service  being  preserved,  cause 
the  building  to  assume  a  singular  appearance, 
and  presents  a  true  picture  of  faded  prosperity. 

the  remaining  apartments,  once  the  seats  of 
mirth  and  festivity,  are  converted  to  the  various 
purposes  of  its  farming  inhabitants,  not  regarding 
regularity  otherwise  than  suiting  their  occupations  : 
having  walked  rpund  it,  but  with  no  induce- 
ment to  ask  for  a  sight  of  the  inside,  I  sat  down 
to  take  the  representation  of  its  gateway.,  and 


when  nearly  finished,  its  occupier  came  forward 
with  a  countenance  it  was  fortunate  he  had  not 
visited  his  dairy  with,  or  it  would  have  made  a 
dreadful  change  in  its  contents,  on  my  drawing 
being  completed,  shut  my  book  without  allowing 
him  to  see  what  I  had  been  doing,  which  did 
not  make  his  manners  more  pleasing  or  his  looks 

more  becoming. 


I  afterwards  understood  that  this  conduct 
(which  was  never  shewn  in  any  other  instance,) 
probably  proceeded  from  his  being  at  variance 
with  his  landlord,  by  whom  he  might  presume  I 
was  sent  to  make  some  remarks  respecting  di- 

Returning  to  the  road  by  the  way  I  came,  at 
the  distance  of  two  miles  on  the  left  an  elegant 
mansion  presents  itself,  seated  on  an  eminence, 
decorated  with  all  the  appendages  to  denote  a 
residence  of  distinction,  and  to  render  it  an  in- 
teresting and  pleasing  object  to  the  traveller: 
enquiring  of  an  old  woman  the  name  of  the  place 
and  proprietor,  she  answered,  Lanwerne,  the  seat 

of  Sir  ROBERT  SALUSBURY,  Bart.  Desirous  of 
learning  a  little  the  characters  of  persons  of  a 
country  which  I  was  then  a  stranger  to,  induced 
me  to  be  inquisitive  for  that  of  its  possessors ; 
when  giving  me  a  look,  as  if  pitying  my  ignorance 
for  not  knowing  that,  which,  she  presumed,  the 
world  were  well  informed  of;  she  spoke  of  them 
with  a  warmth  of  praise,  animated  by  a  peculiar 
pleasure  her  lips  appeared  to  take  in  expressing 
their  names,  and  convinced  me  she  not  only 
conveyed  the  voice  of  general  esteem,  but  that 
the  gratitude  of  her  heart  was  in  unison  with 
the  sincerity  of  her  lips. 

From  Christchurch-yard  all  travellers  will 
unite  in  admiring  the  delightful  and  exquisite 
scene  its  commanding  situation  exhibits:  from 
thence  the  eye  roves  with  unceasing  satisfaction, 
and  receives  enjoyment  from  the  beautiful  assem- 
blage of  every  species  of  variety,  in  the  combi- 
nation of  which,  a  glorious  landscape  of  nature's 
production  is  conspicuously  portrayed,  and  with 
elegance  united. 

This  church  was  early  founded  ;  and  within  it, 
in  the  middle  of  the  chancel,  is  a  flat  grave- 
stone, placed  574  years  since,  which  has  long 
been  an  object  to  the  superstitiously  credulous* 
The  neighbouring  people  say,  'tis  belonging  to  a 
saint,  but  this  is  not  confirmed,  nor  even  to  be 
imagined  from  the  characters  and  inscription  per- 
ceivable on  it ;  but  such  reliance  was  placed  on 
its  having  a  miraculous  power  to  heal  diseases  on 
the  eve  of  Ascension-day,  that  numbers  who  were 
disordered  in  their  limbs,  have  conformed  to  the 
notion,  by  remaining  on  the  stone  from  sun-set  to 
sun-rise  the  next  morning.  In  the  Archasologia 
it  is  recorded  that  sixteen  were  placed  on  it  in 
177O;  but  the  disappointments  which  many> 
doubtless,  experienced,  have  greatly  lowered  the 
belief  of  its  virtues,  and  few  are  now  the  annual 
visitants  to  try  its  efficacy.  From  what  circum  - 
stance  this  strange  custom  has  arisen,  there  is 
no  account,  traditional  or  otherwise ;  and,  no 
doubt,  the  fallacies  it  has  occasioned  will,  in  a  few 
years,  obliterate  its  fancied  property. 



«.  The  sculpture  oil  the  stone  consists  of  the 
figures  of  a  man  and  a  woman,  with  a  cross 
between  them,  their  arms  placed  across,  with 
their  hands  on  their  breasts ;  but  no  particular 
manner  in  their  dress,  whereby  to  distinguish 
them.  The  cross  is  somewhat  curious  in  form- 
ation, and  rather  more  elegant  than  the  figures ; 
the  whole  surrounded  by  an  inscription  in  old 
Latin  characters ;  of  which  I  dare  not  hazard  a 
literal  transcript,  as  two  gentlemen  of  celebrated 
genius  have  materially  varied  in  their  descriptions. 
Mr.  WILLIAMS'S  being,  "  Hie  jacent  Johannes 
tf  Colmar  et  Isabella  uxor  ejus,  qui  obierunt 
"  Anno  Domini  1376,  quum  aiabus  ppicietur 
*e  Deus  Amen." 

And  Mr.  Coxfc's,  "  Hie  jacent  Johannes  — — 
"  et  Elizabetha  uxor  ejus  qui  obierunt  anno  do- 
t(  mini  M,CCC,LXXVI.  quorum  animabus  mise- 
"  retur  Deus  Amen."  In  consequence  of  which 
I  have  been  induced  to  make  a  representation  of 
the  characters,  leaving  it  to  be  elucidated  by  the 
reader,  according  to  his  own  judgment. 

Descending  a  precipitous  and  troublesome 
hill,  of  nearly  three  quarters  of  a  mile,  reached 
Caerleon:  ruins  present  themselves  at  the  foot 

of  \he  bridge,  originally  intended  for  its  pro* 
tection  ;  and,  as  numerous  coins  have  been  found 
where  the  piles  of  the  bridge  are  now  placed, 
there  is  no  doubt  of  its  being  the  original  pass  : 
to  a  person  unaccustomed  to  such  a  bridge,  and 
the  rattling  noise  whenever  any  weight  is  going 
over,  naturally  occasions  some  apprehensions  for 
their  safety,  from  the  flooring  being  apparently 


loose,  yet,  on  close  inspection,  it  will  be  found  to 
be  perfectly  secured  from  removing,  fixed  to  the 
posts  by  an  horizontal  bar,  instead  of  being  nailed 
at  the  ends,  which  was  found  inadequate  to  re- 
main long,  from  its  aptness  of  splitting.  The 
accounts  of  the  tide  rising  so  high  as  to  cover 
the  bridge,  are  erroneous ;  it  never  has  been 
known  yet,  but  that  assertion  has  given  rise  to  the 
idea  of  their  being  purposely  loose  to  prevent  it 
being  carried  away  in  such  cases ;  as  it  undoubt- 
edly might,  were  it  compacted  so  as  to  be  an 
impediment  to  the  rapid  current.  The  amazing 
floods  to  which  the  river  is  subject,  would  render 
it  not  surprising  if  accidents  did  happen,  but  this 
is  very  rarely  the  case;  and  the  judgment  of  the 

Contrivance    io'    ovinood    \>y     tKc    durability     uf    Ui6 

structure,   and  continuance  of  its.   safety. 

,&    MKM 
v  .         "  Caerleon>  now  step  in  with  stately  style, 

"  No  feeble  phrase  may  serve  to  set  thee  forth ; 
"  Thy  famous  town  was  spoke  of  many  a  rrtyle, 
•tf-Tbou  hast  been  great,  though  now  but  little  worth: 
"  Thy  noble  bounds  hath  reacht  beyond  them  all, 
"  In  thee  hath  bene  King  Arthur's  golden  hall, 
"  In  thee  the  wise  and  worthies  difl  repose,* 


As  the  shores  of  the  Severn  were  in  every 
respect  preferable  to  the  opposite  coasts  of  So- 
merset and  Glocester,  we  may  suppose  the 
Romans  would  not  leave  a  place  calculated  for 
their  schemes  and  suitable  for  their  existence, 
to  be  unoccupied  by  them;  accordingly,  Caer- 
leon,  or  Isca  Silururn,  was  chosen  as  their  prin- 
cipal or  head-quarters  in  these  parts;  having 
under  their  management  no  less  than  twenty 
Roman  stations,  three  tribes  of  Britons,  and  the 
accommodation  of  the  whole  Second  Legion  of 
Augustus,  whose  signatures  LEG.  II.  AUG.  are 
numerously  found,  recording  their  memory  by 
this  mode  of  historic  eloquence.  This  place  is 
by  Richard  called  Isca  Colonia;  by  AntOnine, 
Isca  Legionis  Secundse  Augusta? ;  others,  Isca 
Augusta;  and  some,  setting  aside  all  Roman  ori- 
gin, say,  it  is  from  Lleon,  an  ancient  British  king, 
who  founded  it,  and  that  it  was  greatly  enlarged 
by  Dunwallo  Moel  Mutius,  the  father  of  Belinus 
and  Brennus,  four  hundred  years  previous  to  the 
birth  of  Christ,  and  distinguished  as  a  royal  resi- 
dence and  burial  place  of  British  kings  for  many 
centuries,  with  a  variety  of  other  reasons  for  the 


etymology  of  the  word ;  but  Mr.  OWEN,  the 
ingenious  and  indefatigable  author  of  the  Welsh 
Dictionary,  affirms  it  is  derived  from  its  situation 
near  two  powerful  streams,  or  Caer-Llion,  the 
city  of  waters ;  after  these  various  interpretations, 
it  would  appear  almost  an  offence  to  superior 
information  in  offering  a  further,  conjecture  on 
the  probability  of  its  derivation ;  but,  as  this  place 
contained  the  phalanx  of  the  second  Legion,  the 
word  Caer  might  be  emblematical  of  that  strength, 
and  Leon,  an  abreyiation  or  corruption  of  the 
•word  Legion, 


Without  fatiguing  the  mind  with  its  meaning, 
or  from  whence  or  by  what  it  acquired  its  title, 
there  are  sufficient  vestiges  to  ascertain  that  it 
was  formerly  of  great  repute,  and  the  seat  of 
genius,  magnificence,  and  luxury :  from  its  relics 
we  may  contemplate  the  revolution  of  the  Empire, 
the  decay  of  consequence,  and  the  instability  of 
human  labor;  sunk  is  the  pride  of  power  and 
efforts  of  industry ;  her  riches  mingled  with  the 
dust,  and  .all  the  high  display  of  elegance  and  art 
BO  Ipnger  perceived  but  by  the  crumbling  frag-t 


ments  found  in  every  direction.  No  distance  can 
be  gone  over  without  some  emblem  to  call  our 
attention,  nor  much  depth  of  ground  laid  open 
without  disturbing  some  portion  of  matter,  with 
which  it  was  formerly  embellished ;  remnants  of 
mouldings,  inscriptions,  coins,  scraps  of  vases, 
pavements,  altars,  baths,  subterranean  passages, 
aqueducts,  and  vaults.  An  historian  in  the  12th 
century  gives  this  description  of  it  "  Many  ves- 
"  tiges  of  its  ancient  splendor  are  yet  remaining: 
"  stately  palaces  with  their  gilded  tiles,  which 
"  formerly  displayed  Roman  grandeur,  and  many 
"  sumptuous  edifices  ;  also  an  exceeding  high 
se  tower,  remarkable  hot  baths,  ruins  of  ancient 
"  temples,  theatres  encompassed  with  stately 
(t  walls  partly  yet  standing,  subterraneous  edifices 
"  are  frequently  met  with,  not  only  within  the 
c<  walls,  aqueducts,  vaults,  hypocausts,  stoves, 
"  &c." 

This  place  is  stated  to  have  been  for  conse- 
quence the  third  city  in  Britain  ;  and  from  the 
year  182  to  521  it  was  an  archbishopric,  and  had 
three  churches,  one  of  them  annexed  to  a  con- 


vent  of  religious  virgins,  and  sacred  to  Julius  the 
martyr ;  the  second  dedicated  to  St.  Aaron,  and 
had  a  noble  choir  of  canons  ;  the  third  was  the 
metropolitan  church  of  Wales,  inhabited  by 
monks,  who  retained  it  till  the  translation  of  the 
see  by  St.  David  to  Menevia ;  when  the  subju- 
gation of  the  neighbouring  districts  was  com- 
pleted, there  was  also  an  establishment  formed 
for  an  abbot  and  monks  of  the  Cistertian  order  ; 
nor  was  it  less  conspicuous  after  the  Saxon  con- 
quest, as  it  is  reputed  to  have  been  foremost  in 
the  annals  of  literary  fame  by  containing  an 
university  for  philosophy,  astronomy,  and  other 

•      : 

The  present  place  occupies  but  a  trifling  part 
of  the  ancient  city,  as  the  boundaries  may  be 
tolerably  well  traced,  and  the  adjoining  suburbs 
were  extended  for  some  miles,  where  there  are 
indubitable  proofs  of  having  been  many  sumptuous 
edifices,,  which  in  all  likelihood  were  the  detached 
residences  of  the, higher  persons.  The  most  pe?v 
feet  part  of  the  original  boundary  is  in  Round 
Table  FieltJ,  where  the  wall  now  remaining  is 


about  fourteen  or  fifteen  feet  in  height,  and 
twelve  in  thickness,  enclosing  a  space  of  53O 
yards  by  460,  the  longest  sides  pointing  to  the 
south-east ;  contiguous  to  the  enclosed  ground, 
but  without  the  walls,  is  an  oval  concavity  or 
campestrian  amphitheatre,  known  by  the  name  of 
King  Arthur's  Eound  Table ;  it  is  74  yards  by  64, 
hollowed  in  the  ground  with  regular  sloping  banks, 
and  had  seats  rising  one  above  the  other;  but 
whether  of  stone  or  turf,  has  been  the  subject  of 
much  conjecture,  though  it  is  affirmed  that  in  the 
memory  of  some  still  living,  stone  seats  were 
found,  and  that  a  figure  of  Diana,  composed  of 
alabaster,  was  dug  up  near  the  place. 


The  lane  which  unites  with  the  Table  Field  is 
called  the  Broadway,  where  it  would  be  impossi- 
ble to  give  a  catalogue  of  interesting  relics  strewed 
where  the  soil  has  been  lately  broken  up  for  the 
purpose  of  procuring  building  stone,  which  in- 
duced me  to  employ  some  labourers  for  a  day, 
when  I  acquired  several  different  specimens  of 
terra  cotta,  forming  small  vases,  not  more  numer- 
ous than  the  characters  upon  them,  some  executed 



with  a  great  display  of  skill,  and  the  embellishments 
which  adorned  them  comhine  much  elegance  ; 
in  one,  my  feelings  were  particularly  engaged,  it 
contained  a  clay,  not  only  peculiarly  smooth,  hut- 
singularly  firm,  moulded  with  a  considerable 
quantity  of  ashes  and  some  pieces  of  unconsumed1 
bone ;  this  circumstance  gave  birth  to  the  strong- 
est emotions  of  my  mind  excited  by  admiration, 
conjecturing  it  might  be  the  small  funeral  monu- 
ment, transmitting  to  posterity  a  life  not  only 
distinguished  for  bravery,  but  signalized  by  other 
memorable  deeds. 

Two  portable  mill  stones  added  to  the  collec- 
tion from  this  place,  measuring  fifteen  inches 
diameter,  being  part  of  the  provident  atten- 
tion always  paid  by  that  great  and  considerate 

Returning  by  the  lane  opposite  to  the  field 
before'  spoken  of,  is  the  Berrows,  presumed  to 
be  a  corruption  of  the  word  Bear-house,  and  pro- 
bably where  they  kept  the  wild  beasts,  to  be 
opposed  to  the  gladiators  in  the  amphitheatre. 

I  now  extended  my  walk  across  a  few  fields  to 

.a  bathing  house  belonging  to BUTLER,  Esq. 

to  examine  a  curious  stone  said  to  be  in  the  wall 
of  that  building :  abridged  of  all  light  but  what 
glimmered  through  the  crevices  of  a  darkened 
window,  must  plead  if  its  representation  is  no,t 
so  correct  as  I  could  wish,  after  the  considerable 
attention  that  was  paid,  in  the  hope  it  would 
throw  a  light  on  the  history  of  a  person  once 
famed  in  this  place,  the  dimensions  of  it  are  20  by 
1 2  inches :  below  it  are  three  stones,  or  rather 
bricks,  two  of  which  are  scribed  with  numerous 
lines,  and  in  various  forms,  the  center  appeared 
to  consist  of  small  Roman  characters,  but  the 
darkness  of  the  situation  baffled  all  attempts 
to  describe  them. 

In  the  possession  of  Mr.  NICHOLS  is  an  in- 
taglio, set  as  a  ring,  representing  the  figure  of 
:  Hercules  strangling  the  Nemean  Lion,  the  exe- 
cution is  good,  and  the  setting  is  not  only  <?f 
the  purest  gold,  but  unusual  form  ;  the  polite- 
ness of  this  gentleman,  in  allowing  me  to  take 

an  impression  and  representation  of  it,  demands 
my  thanks,  and  for   the   tradition   of  the  place 

he   was   so  obliging   as    to   communicate. 


A  large  hollow  tile,  one  end  being  16,  the  other 
only  13  inches,  and  in  -length  23,  with  the  im- 
pression of  LEG.  II.  AUG. 

And  a  pavement  1 6  inches  square  and  two  in 
thickness,  with  the  same  impression,  were  pre- 
sented me;  the  former  by  Sir  ROBERT  SALUS- 
BUKY,  Bart,  and  the  other  by  the  Rev.  Mr. 
EVANS,  of  Careau,  both  of  whom  must  accept 
my  warmest  acknowledgments  :  they  are  supposed 
to  have  belonged  to  a  laconicum  or  sarcophagus. 

In  a  wall  belonging  to  Mr.  WILLIAMS,  currier, 
is  a  remarkable  inscribed  stone,  but  so  defaced  by 
washing  with  lime,  as  nearly  to  obliterate  the  cha- 
racters. This  stone  was  brought  from  the  mound 
or  keep,  and  was  part  of  those  bought  of  the  lord 
of  the  manor,  from  the  foundation  of  some  build* 
ings  there. 


There  is  also  in  the  possession  of  Mr.  RICH- 
ARDS, a  Venus  Marina,  with  a  Dolphin  in  her 
hand  in  basso  relievo,  but  the  sculpture  is  very 

rude_,  and  time  has  nearly  obliterated  the  design. 


I  now  directed  my  course  to  a  newly-erected 
house  near  the  church,  belonging  to  Mr.  GET H IN 
(who  owns  the  market-boat,  which  goes  regularly 
to  Bristol);  near  the  foundation  of  the  above 
structure  were  raised  fragments  of  free-stone,  con- 
taining some  remains  of  inscriptions,  the  whole 
of  which  is  supposed  to  have  been  originally  a 
pillar.  After  considerable  labor  bestowed  on 
them  with  mops,  brooms,  and  brushes,  sufficient 
characters  were  legible  on  the  pedestal  to  trace 
that  it  was  dedicated  in  the  consulate  of  Maxi- 
mus,  during  the  reign  of  Alexander  Severus,  the 
others  composing  the  shaft  are  said  to  be  an 
inscription  by  the  second  Augustan  Legion,  and 
indicating  the  aera  when  it  was  erected. 

Desirous  of  acquiring  for  the  public  any  relic 
which-  might  be  interesting,  I  applied  to  the 


owner,  hearing-they  were  of  no  value  to  him  only 
as  suiting  the  uses  of  the  mason,  •  determined  to 
•rescue  them  from  such  a  disgrace,  offered  either 
to  procure  an  equal  quantity  of  stone  suitable 

"  for  the  purposes  required,  or  to  pay  him  any  fair 
determined  price;  Mr. -GETH IN  consented,  and 
assured  he  would  call  on  me  for  that  purpose  the 
next  time  he  came  to  Bristol  ;  not  fulfilling  his 
word,  I  revisited  Caerleon  with  the  intent  of  con- 

-  eluding  the  bargain.,  when  lo  !  :I  arrived  just  in 
time  to  see  the  remains  of  the  last  stone  fixing 
for  a  window  frame,  <I  have  taken  the  trouble 
to  detail  this,  not  as  a  reprimand  for  an  offence 
offered  to  myself,  but  to  the  public,  who  must 
therefore  accept  the  description, and  representation 
on  paper,  as  I  was  disappointed  in  presenting 
them  in  their  real  state,: -and  having  them  placed 

i in -a:  suitable  situation  for  the  inspection  of  the 

I  cannot  take  my  leave  of  the  numerous  test- 
imonials  of  :  former   greatness   which   have  been 
found  at  Caerleon,  without  requesting  an  oiler  of 

my  thanks  to  Miss  MORGAN,  not  only  for  her 
graceful  and .  obliging  affability  in  allowing  me 
to  inspect  those  in  her  posession,  but  for  her 
laudable  pursuit  in  collecting  the  antiquities  of  a 
place  once  so  celebrated  in  the  annals  of  fame ;  a 
pursuit  not  only  influenced  by  her  general  wish 
of  doing  good,  but  encouraged  by  an  elegant 
refinement  of  literary  taste. 

I  have  often  lamented  that  others  have  not  been 
actuated  by  similar  views,  or  that  a  public  reposi- 
tory has  not  been  instituted  in  a  district  so  distin- 
guished ;  it  is  an  establishment  that  might  be 
conducted  at  a  small  expence,  and  would  furnish 
to  the  world  many  rare  antiquities  of  import- 
ance, and  induce  the  labourer  to  repair  to  the 
receptacle  with  any  found  medal,  (valuable  to 
him  only  by  its  metal)  who  otherwise  hastens 
to  the  silversmith,  where  all  its  recorded  history 
is  at  once  lost  in  the  crucible.  Should  such  ant 
Institution  be  formed,  it  is  needless  to  say  the 
pleasure  I  should  take,  not  only  in  contributing 
what  the  country  has  furnished,  but  in  adding 
some  valuable  records  of  historic  eloquence. 


In  the  collection  of  Miss  Morgan  are  coins 
of  Julia  Augusta,  Vespasian,  Antoninus  Pius, 
Hadrian,  Nerva,  Plautilla,  Claudius,  Faustina, 
Constantine,  Constantius,  Carausias,  Magnentius^ 
Carinus,  and  Salustius ;  with  fibulae,  crosses, 
lamps,  jasper  terressa,  &c.  From  such  a  col- 
lection having  been  made  on  the  spot,  I  could 
little  hope  to  acquire  many  coins ;  but  after  can- 
vassing every  probable  person,  was  able  to  procure 
a  few  by  the  assistance  of  my  indefatigable  guide, 
/.  Jones,  the  parish-clerk  (whom  I  must  not  for- 
get to  mention)  ;  give  John  but  plenty  of  Cwrw*, 
and  I  will  pronounce  no  person  can  be  more 
indefatigable,  or  shew  the  tiquities  of  the  place 
to  greater  advantage.  After  having  taken  me  to 
the  church,  and  exhibited  a  rib  four  feet  in  length 
and  five  inches  in  breadth,  with  an  assurance 
of  it  being  from  the  famous  dun  cow,  (which, 
by  the  bye,  was  only  from  a  small  grampus), 
he  led  me  to  Arthur's  table  ;  after  -looking  sted- 
fastly  on  the  spot  for  some  time,  "  There,  there,'* 
says  he,  "  sunk  that  king  and  two  thousand  men ;" 
fetching  a  deep  sigh,  accompanied  with  three 
distinct  pointings  of  his  finger  :  "  Two  thousand 

*  Ale, 

"  men  !  ! !  surely  there  is  not  room  ?"  on  seeing 
John's  wrath  begin  to  kindle  at"  my  disbelief,  I 
yielded  to  his  information,  considering  how  vain 
it  is  to  contend  with  a  man,  not  only  versed  in 
earthly  matters,  but  knowing  with  precision  the 
space  occupied  by  mortality,  and  whose  interest 
it  was  to  pack  mankind  as  close  as  possible. 

Of  a  castle  there  are  some  remains,  but  by 
whom  founded  is  uncertain ;  some  have  said  by 
Romans,  others  British,  and  some  Saxons  ;  but 
it  is  certain  it  was  of  great  strength  at  the  time 
of  the  Norman  conquest :  the  mound,  on  which 
the  great  tower  stood,  is  in  much  the  same  state 
it  ever  was ;  and  let  who  will  be  the  projector^ 
gives  us  a  lasting  proof  of  their  indefatigable 
labor ;  its  construction  being  no  less  than  30O 
yards  in  circumference  at  the  bottom,  and  90 
at  its  height.  Within  the  last  century  there  was 
a  large  portion  of  the  structure  remaining,  which 
suffered  considerable  injury  from  the  memorable 
hard  weather  in  173Q.  Some  idea  of  the  massive 
building  may  be  formed  by  surveying  part  of  the 

foundation,  which  is  not  less  than  2O  feet  deep, 


10  broad,  and  30  long,  in  one  solid  mass ;  in  its. 
pristine  state  this  castle  was,  no  doubt,  a  fortress 
of  very  considerable  consequence ;  and  is  men- 
tioned in  historic  annals  as  having  been  subject  to 
many  assaults  and  defences ;  of  the  importance 
of  Caerleon  we  may  guess,  when  we  are  told 
that  Alfred  sent  a  fleet  against  it,  and  was  unsuc- 
cessful ;  and  though  the  reason  was  in  some 
measure  occasioned  by  his  wanting  a  greater  force 
elsewhere  to  check  the  Danes,  still  it  shews  it 
was  not  an  easy  matter  to  subdue  this  once  flou- 
rishing place. 

As  a  residence  of  several  Welsh  chieftains,  it 
underwent  continual  feuds  between  the  English 
and  them,  and  as  circumstances  happened,  was 
in  different  possessions  without  any  permanent 
advantage  to  either.  Jowerth  seems  to  have  been 
its  fiercest  assailant,  and  after  a  variety  of  fortunes 
was  settled  in  it  by  a  grant  from  Henry  II.  who, 
in  1169,  on  his  journey  to  Ireland,  went  to  Caer- 
leon, and  being  supicious  of  Jowerth,  then  lord 
of  it,  turned  him  out;  on  Henry's  departure, 
Jowerth's  two  sons  and  a  numerous  band  re-took 


the  town,  but  were  baffled  in  their  attempts  on 
the  castle :  thus  they  were  continually  harassed 
and  harassing,  until  the  complete  subjection  of 
Wales  by  Edward  I.  who  restored  the  castle  and 
lordships  to  the  original  proprietors,  the  family 
of  Clare.  Edward  IV.  and  Richard  III.  were 
afterwards  possessors,  and  it  continued  a  long 
time  the  property  of  the  crown ;  the  Morgan 
family  of  Llantarnam,  became  its  owners,  and 
from  their  descendants  it  has  been  purchased  by 
the  present  proprietor,  Mr.  BLANNIN. 

I  know  not  what  reason  there  is  to  conclude 
there  was  no  station  here  previous  to  the  arrival 
of  the  Romans,  as  the  natives  could  not  be  in- 
sensible of  its  conveniences,  and  the  advantages 
resulting  from  its  situation.  It  is  known  that,  in 
early  ages,  the  chief  or  prince  of  a  district  had  a 
fixed  place  for  government,  and  ,in  those  rude 
times,  none  was  more  applicable  for  the  purpose 
than  Caerleon,  which  the  Romans  observing, 
they  would  naturally  dispossess  the  settlers, 
and  appropriate  it  to  themselves,  and  when  firmly 
established  and  enjoying  quietness,  certainly  added 

vast  improvements.  The  monument  of  their 
labor  which  enclosed  the  camp  is  a  parallelogram 
inclining  to  a  square,  and  the  suburbs  are  said  to 
have  extended  nine  miles,  reaching  to  Christ*- 
church  and  St.  Julian's, 

Before  I  take  my  leave  of  Caerleon,  I  cannot 
resist  offering  a  slight  description  of  those  classic 
heroes,  who  were  once  its  inhabitants  ;  trusting 
it  may  not  be  thought  inapplicable  to  the  subject, 
or  uninteresting  to  the  reader. 

The  camp  of  a  Roman  legion  had  generally  the 
appearance  of  a  fortified  city,  cleared  from  all 
impediments,  and  a  square  of  700  yards  was  fully 
sufficient  for  20,OOO  soldiers.  The  Praetorium, 
or  general's  tent,  was  usually  in  the  midst,  and 
raised  above  the  rest ;  the  streets  perfectly  strait, 
and  from  the  rampart  to  the  tents,  was  20O 
feet,  enclosed  by  a  wall  generally  twelve  feet 
high,  pf  a  similar  breadth  and  depth,  surrounded 
by  a  ditch.  Whenever  they  departed  they  carried 
all  their  necessaries  for  service  and  food,  in  addi- 
tion, to  their  arms ;  and  their  accustomed  pace, 

loaded  in  this  manner,  was  20  miles  in  six  hours  : 
they  considered  being  within  the  walls  of  a  city,  as 
a  mark  of  weakness,  and  usually  stationed  them- 
selves by  the  side  of  neighbouring  rivers,  and  most 
frequently  made  it  their  lasting  residence.  In 
Britain  were  three  legions  of  these  hardy  and 
active  people ;  one  of  them  at  the  place  lately 
under  observation,  which  from  all  its  collected 
appearances,  was  not  less  than  the  rest.  A 
legion  usually  consisted  of  a  body  of  6831  Ro-r 
mans,  and  when  all  their  attendants  and  auxili- 
aries were  included,  the  whole  amounted  nearly 
to  1 3,OOO ;  their  arms  were  an  open  helmet  with 
a  lofty  crest,  a  breast-plate  and  coat  of  mail, 
greaves  on  their  legs,  and  a  buckler  on  the  left 
arm,  four  feet  long  and  two  and  an  half  broad, 
formed  of  wood  covered  with  an  hide,  and 
strongly  guarded  with  plates  of  brass  ;  a  light 
spear,  and  a  ponderous  javelin  called  Pilum,  six 
feet  long,  headed  with  a  triangular  point  of 
steel  of  18  inches,  and  a  short  well  tempered  two- 
edged  sword,  were  the  missiles  of  the  infantry ; 
the  weight  of  whose  armour  and  all  appendages 

was  golb.  which  must   give  us  a  proof  of  their 
natural  strength. 

In  a  legion  were  generally  726  horse,  accoutred 
with  a  helmet,  long  shield,  light  boots,  and  coat 
of  mail,  a  javelin,  and  a  long  broad  sword;  and 
sometimes  an  iron  mace  and  lance ;  on  the  sol- 
dier's entrance  into  service,  an  oath  of  fidelity 
was  administered  with  circumstantial  solemnity ; 
and  under  these  impressions  his  own  will  was  in 
every  thing  submitted  to  the  command  of  his 
leader,  nor  any  hesitation  to  become  sacrificed 
whenever  the  safety  of  the  empire  or  emperor 
required  it.  Religion  and  fyonor  inspired  him 
with  firm  attachment  to  his  standard,  and  the 
glittering  of  the  eagle  added  fury  to  his  exertions 
to  maintain  it ;  to  abandon  that  sacred  ensign 
was  held  ignominious  and  impious,  and  neither 
hopes  nor  fears  could  make  him  betray  or  desert 
it :  such  being  the  power,  numbers,  and  resolution 
of  the  Romans,  we  cannot  be  surprised  at  their 
carrying  victory  wherever  the  chose,  leaving  a 
npble  example  to  those  who  ha  e  the  love  of  their 
king,  and  welfare  of  their  country  at  heart. 

It  must,  however,  reflect  great  honor  on  the 
Silures  for  their  courage  and  perseverance  against 
so  formidable  a  phalanx,  whose  appearance  was 
calculated  to  excite  dismay,  and  whose  impetu- 
osity must  seem  irresistible;  but  their  long  and 
determined  opposition,  proves  the  idea  of  inde- 
pendence a  principle  amazingly  encouraging,  and 
extremely  impressive  to  direct  every  exertion  for 
the  preservation  of  that  freedom,  which  was  not 
wrested  from  them  without  the  most  noble  and 
arduous  endeavour  on  their  parts  to  prevent  it. 

I  was  unable  to  procure  more  than  one  coin  of 
singularity  ;  it  has  a  plain  head,  with  the  hair 
arrayed  in  a  peculiar  stile,  with  three  balls  in  good 
relief ;  the  reverse  is  not  so  perfect,  but  appears 
to  represent  the  prow  of  a  ship,  with  three  balls 
below  it ;  the  acrosteria,  or  prow  of  a  ship,  distin- 


guishes  a  naval  victory  of  a  maritime  city ;  and  as 
the  coin  does  not  appear  to  be  either  Roman  or 
British,  (if  ever  the  Danes  did  strike  medals  to 
perpetuate  events),  this,  probably,  might  be  to 
record  the  fruitless  attempt  made  by  the  fleet  of 
king  Alfred  on  this  place;  another  has  evidently  a 

Roman  head,  but  not  sufficiently  discernible  to 
justify  an  opinion  of  the  origin  ;  the  metal  resem- 
bles brass,  and  is  supposed  to  be  part  of  those 
valuable  ores  that  ran  together  on  the  burning 
of  Corinth,  by  Mummius.  The  rest  are  principally 
duplicates  of  those  procured  at  Caerwent,  and 
several  have  so  severely  suffered  from  the  incessant 
labor  of  the  hand  of  time,  as  to  render  all  repre- 
sentation or  description  totally  impossible,  which 
is  particularly  to  be  lamented  on  two  large  ones 
taken  out  of  the  wall,  which  probably  would  have 
elucidated  a  considerable  share  of  early  history 
of  the  place. 

Leaving*  Caerleon,  I  returned  by  its  bridge,  and 
cannot  think  of  passing  its  tottering  frame  with, 
out  relating  an  extraordinary  circumstance  still 
in  the  memory  of  several  persons  ;  the  story  was 
frequently  told  me  at  that  place,  but  I  shall  beg 
leave  to  avail  myself  of  Mr.  COKE'S  description. 

«'  On  the  2pth  of  October,  1772,  as  Mrs.  Williams,  wife  of  Mr.  Edward 
"  Williams,  brazier,  was  returning  from  the  village  of  Caerleon  to  the 
"  town,  at  eleven  o'clock  at  night,  with  a  candle  and  lanthorn,  the  vio- 
"  lencc  of  the  current  forced  away  four  piers  and  a  considerable  part  of- 

"  the  bridge  ;  on  a  fragment  of  this  mass,  consisting  of  an  entire  rOOm, 
"  with  the  beams,  posts,  and  flooring,  she  was  hurried  down  the  river, 
"  but  preserved  sufficient  presence  of  mind  to  support  herself  by  the  rail- 
"  ing :  on  arriving  near  St.  Julian's,  the  candle  was  extinguished ;  she 
"  immediately  screamed  for  help,  and  was  heard  by  several  persons,  who 
"  started  out  of  their  beds  to  assist  her  j  but  the  violence  of  the  stream 
"  had  already  hurried  her  beyond  their  reach ;  during  this  time  she  felt 
"  little  apprehension,  as  she  entertained  hopes  of  being  delivered  by  the 
'*  boatmen  of  Newport ;  her  expectations  were  increased  by  the  numerous 
*'  lights  which  she  discovered  in  the  houses,  and  she  accordingly  redoubled 
"  her  cries  for  assistance,  though  without  effect.  The  fragment  on  which 
"  she  stood  being  broken  to  pieces  against  a  piece  of  Newport  bridge,  she 
"  fortunately  bestrode  a  beam,  and  after  being  detained  for  some  minutes 
"  by  the  eddies  at  the  bridge,  was  hurried  along  towards  the  sea :  in  this 
"  perilous  situation  she  resigned  herself  to  her  approaching  fate,  and, 
*'  addressing  herself  to  Heaven,  exclaimed  *  Oh !  Lord,  I  trust  in  thee, 
'  thou  alone  canst  save  me.'  About  a  mile  from  Newport,  she  discerned 
"  a  glimmering  light,  in  a  barge  which  was  moored  near  the  shore,  and 
"  redoubling  her  cries,  was  heard  by  the  master  of  the  vessel ;  after  hailing 
"  her,  and  learning  her  situation,  he  cried  out  '  keep  up  your  spirits  and 
'  you  will  soon  be  out  of  danger :'  then  leaping  into  the  boat,  with  one  of 
"  his  men,  rowed  towards  the  place  from  whence  the  scream  proceeded  ; 
"  but  some  time  elapsed  before  he  overtook  her,  at  a  considerable  distance 
"  from  the  anchorage  of  his  barge;  the  night  was  so  dark  that  they  could 
"  not  discover  each  other,  and  the  surf  swelling  violently,  the  master 
"  repeated  his  exhortations,  charged  her  to  be  calm,  and  not  attempt  to 
"  quit  her  station ;  fortunately  a  sudden  dispersion  of  the  clouds  enabled 
*'  him  to  lash  the  beam  fore  and  aft  to  the  boat :  at  this  moment,  how- 
"  ever,  her  presence  of  mind  forsook  her,  and  eagerly  attempting  to  throw 
"  herself  forward  she  was  checked  by  the  oaths  of  the  seamen,  who  were 
"  at  length  enabled  to  heave  her  into  the  boat}  but  could  not  disengage 



"  themselves  from  the  beam  till  they  had  almost  reached  the  mouth  of 
"  the  Usk;  this  being  effected,  not  without  great  difficulty,  they  rowed  to 
"  the  shore,  and  embayed  themselves  till  the  first  dawn  of  the  morning, 
"-  when  they  conveyed  her  in  the  boat  to  Newport.  Though  Mrs.  Williams 
"  was  in  an  advanced  state  of  pregnancy,  she  received  so  little  injury  from 
"  the  perilous  accident,  that  after  a  few  hours  repose  she  returned  to  Caei> 
"  Icon.— I  have  been  thus  minute  in  detailing  the  particulars  of  this  pioviden- 
"  tial  escape,  because  it  has  been  related  with  so  many  improbable  circum- 
"  stances  as  to  occasion  doubts  of  its  reality.  For  the  truth  of  this  narrative, 
"  I  can  adduce  the  testimony  of  Mr.  Jones,  of  Clytha ;  Mr.  Kemeys,  of 
"  Mayndee  ;  and  the  Rev.  Mr,  Evans  ;  all  cf  whom  soon  afterwards  con- 
"  versed  with  Mrs.  Williams :  to  Mr.  Evans  in  particular,  she  uniformly 
"  repeated  the  same  account,  and  confirmed  it  on  her  death-bed  with  the 
"  most  solemn  asseverations.  The  disinterested  conduct  of  the  master  and 
"  boatmen  ought  not  to  be  omitted ;  notwithstanding  the  peril  to  which 
"  they  were  exposed,  and  their  active  exertions,  they  repeatedly  declined 
"  the  liberal  recompence  offered  by  Mr.  Williams." 

Turning  short  to  the  left,  I  went  to  Upper 
Bulmore,  to  see  a  large  sculptured  stone,  near 
the  door  of  a  farm  house  by  that  name ;  it  was 
found  a  few  feet  below  the  surface  where  it  now 
stands,  and  is  four  feet  by  three  and  a  half,  repre- 
senting a  man  seated  in  an  arched  recess  ;  the 
right  hand  is  mutilated,  as  is  much  of  the  whole, 
the  left  resting  on  a  globe  ;  it  is  supposed  to 
be  designed  for  the  statue  of  an  Imperator,  sur- 
rounded with  many  ornaments,  though  with  little" 
remains,  but  that  little  has  a  claim  to  elegance. 

Passing  the  venerable  mansion  of  Kemeys,  the 
lofty  brow  of  its  hill  is  thickly  mantled  with 
wood,  where,  on  its  summit  is  a  building  stiled 
Kemeys'  folly.  I  ever  dislike  repeating  a  report 
to  the  prejudice  of  others  ;  but  as  the  following 
is  so  neat  a  repartee,  and  perhaps  will  inform  why 
the  appellation  is  applied  to  many  other  buildings, 
I  must,  therefore,  forego  my  general  inclination  : 
the  proprietor  boasting  to  his  relation  that  he 
had  erected  a  building  from  which  he  could  see 
several  counties,  "  Then  I  am  sorry  for  it,  as 
-" several  counties  can  see  THY  FOLLY," 

I  A  neat  bridge  of  three  arches  bestrides  the 
Usk,  and  has  the  reputation  of  being  built-  by 
the  celebrated  architect  of  Pont-y-Prydd.  The 
country  about  it  is  extremely  pleasing,  and 
through  one  of  the  arches  an  edifice  was  parti- 
cularly attractive,  which  I  understood  was  Lan- 
gibby,  the  seat  of  W.  WILLIAMS,  Esq.  As  that 
place  was  one  of  my  objects  in  view,  it  hastened 
my  departure  from  the  bridge,  and  ascending  a 
hill,  reached  Tredenoc  church,  when  its  steeple 
wus  undergoing  a  repair  from  the  effect  of  a 
thunder-storm,  the  materials  for  which  purpose 
had  immured  the  object  of  my  visiting  the  fabric; 
having  removed  them,  it  presented  a  sepulchral 
stone  to  the  memory  of  a  soldier  of  the  second 
Augustan-  Legion,  three  feet  square,  but  a  border 
of  three  parallel  lines  on  each  extremity  reduced 
the  inscription  to  two  feet : 

D,  M.  I  V  L.  I  V  L  I  A  N  U  S  . 
M  I  L.  L  fc  G.  I  I.  A  V  G.  S  T  I  P 
X  I  1 1.  A  R  M  0  R.  X  I 
i  JI  I  CSITUS.  EST. 



It  is  thus  expressed  by  the  learned,  "  Diis  mani- 
"  bus,  JULIUS  JULIANUS,  miles  legionis  secundae 
tf  Augustas  stipcndiorum  octodecim  armorum  qua- 
"  draginta  hie  situs  est  cura  agente  amanda  con- 
"juge."  It  was  discovered  five  feet  below  the 
surface  at  the  external  wall  of  the  east  end  of  the 

I  soon  reached  the  great  road,  whose  perpetual 
inequalities  displayed  every  grace  of  country, 
pleasing  to  the  fancy,  combining  beauty  with  im- 
provement. Langibby  house  is  seated  on  a  gentle 
rise,  whose  proprietors  being  from  home,  gave 
me  a  serious  disappointment ;  the  stable  doors 
were  garnished  by  the  fronts  and  pads  of  foxes, 
and  a  few  favourite » unkenneled  deep-mouthed 
hounds  announced  the  approach  of  a  stranger : 
the  whole  characterising  the  residence  of  hospi- 
tality, elegance,  and  domestic  life.  Ascending  a 
steep  hill  by  the  side  of  a  small  park  well  stocked 
with  deer,  reached  its  castle  almost  secluded  by 
the  redundancy  of  foliage  that  was  encrusting  it, 
and  the  noble  trees  which  were  overshadow- 
ing it,  not  only  deprived  me  of  an  opportunity  of 


taking  a  drawing,    but    pictured   a   melancholy 
gloom  of  departed  fame. 

The  remains  of  the  castle  are  very  ruinous, 
nor  can  the  figure  of  former  apartments  be  cor- 
rectly traced.  LELAND,  speaking  of  this  place, 
calls  it  "  the  castle  of  Trergega,  1 1  myles  from 
"  Cair  Uskj  in  middle  Venceland.  Yt  is  other- 
<£  wise  communely  cawllcd  Lankiby,  because  it 
"  .is  in  the  paroche  of  Kibby ;"  and  Church- 
yard, who  wrote  in  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  thus 
describes  it  in  his  time  : 

•i : — . Upon  a  mightie  hill 

«'  Langibby  stands,  a  castle  once  of  state; 
"  And  where  there  is  some  buildings  neweof  late 
"  A  wholesome  place,  a  passing  plat  of  ground, 
"'  As  good  an  ayre  as  thereabouts  is  found  : 
*'  It  seemes  to  sight,  the  seat  was  plast  so  well, 
"  In  elders  dales,  some  duke  therein  did  dwell.*'* 

The  earls  of  Glocester,  in  the  Clare  family, 
were  once  possessors ;  then  the  earls  of  March, 
of 'the  Mortimer  line ;  since  which  time  it  has 

'•• .  ;      f-  ,    vj      |-/;'r  ;j"   ^rJ* 

*  Alluding  to  the  duke  of  York,  who  once  slept  there.          '.»  * 

continued  in  the  Williams'  family :  no  records  arc 
found  to  prove  what  events  occasioned  the  de- 
struction of  the  fortress  or  the  figure  it  has 
formerly  borne.  In  the  .unsettled  time  of  Charles, 
Sir  Trevor  Williams  is  particularly  mentioned  as 
among  the  parliament's  adherents,  but  afterwards 
became  a  strenuous  supporter  of  his  sovereign, 
and  an  object  of  Cromwell's  suspicion. 

The  mansion  is  on  a  pleasing  spot,  and  re- 
ported to  be  of  Inigo  Jones's  building;  the  effect 
of  it  has  grandeur  united  to  simplicity,  and  affords 
a  delightful  view  of  the  vale,  the  sinuous  windings 
of  the  Usk,  and  woods  indefinitely  varying  in 
their  forms,  tinged  in  colours  corresponding  to 
the  light  or  shade  of  the  atmosphere,  presenting 
to  the  imagination  every  pleasing  sensation  of 

At  a  mile  distance  the  town  of  Usk  unfolds 
itself  to  view,  overlooked  by  its  venerable  ivy- 
mantled  castle  and  walls  ;  the  country  is  beauti- 
fully diversified  by  woods,  corn  fields,  and  innu- 
merable interesting  objects,  the  whole  bounded 

by  the  great  Skyrrid,   generally  attired  in  misty 
blue ;  an  elegant  bridge  steps  across  the  stream, 

and  through  one  of  its  arches  the  river  is  seen 
retiring  behind  its  verdant  banks ;  a  long  range 
of  pebbles  divides  the  transparent  waters,  which 
not  only  sparkled  at  the  separation,  but  mur- 
mured at  the  interruption. 

Usk  is  beheld  with  redoubled  pleasure  by  those 
who  have  been  accustomed  to  the  tame  and  un- 
interesting sight  ot  low  and  long  levels  j  the 


variety  to  be  viewed  here  is  truly  beautiful,  happy 
in  the  display  of  hill  and  dale,  wood  and  water, 
verdure  and  fertility  smiling  with  agriculture, 
promising  rich  rewards  to  the  industrious  ;  though 
divested  of  the  rough  features  of  crags  or  rocks, 
still  the  wildness  of  its  appearance  creates  such 
sensations  of  delight  as  are  neither  tiresome  to 
the  eye,  nor  fatiguing  to  the  imagination  ;  the 
majestic  mountains  in  the  neighbourhood  are 
pleasingly  diversified  in  their  forms,  while  the 
remains  of  the  castle,  and  an  elegant-constructed 
bridge,  connecting  the  town  with  the  road  to 
Pontypool,  add  not  only  dignity  but  delight  to 
the  scene.  The  most  eligible  station  to  view  this 
place  is,  from  the  terrace  adjoining  the  castle, 
from  whence  the  intermixture  of  houses,  pas- 
ture, &c.  forms  a  singular  contrast. 

The  town  is  not  large,  not  having  more  than 
170  houses  and  about  seven  or  eight  hundred 
inhabitants,  having  no  trade  of  consequence  to 
occupy  their  attention,  but  who  appear  to  enjoy 
the  quietness  of  retirement  in  this  pleasing  place ; 
the  streets  are  neat  and  cleanly,  and  the  river, 


which  is  remarkable  for  the  goodness  of  its  fish, 
(particularly  the  salmon),  winds  in  beautiful  cur- 
vatures amongst  gentle  and  quick  rising  hills, 
and  glides  its  silvery  waters  close  to  the  town, 
which  bears  the  name  of  antiquity,  being  called 
Burrium,  or  enclosed  town.  In  all  the  neigh- 
bouring fields  are  innumerable  vestiges  to  prove 
that  in  early  age  it  has  been  of  consequence; 
but  none  to  decide  the  controversy,  whether  or 
not  it  was  Roman ;  it  is  supposed  to  havre  been 
formerly  of  much  greater  extent,  and  the  appear- 
ance of  paved  ways  has  been  seen  on  turning  up 
the  ground  of  the  adjoining  meadows. 

At  Usk  there  has  been  originally  a  priory  of 
five  Benedictine  Nuns,  founded,  as  we  are  in- 
formed, by  Richard  de  Clare,  and  Gilbert  his  son, 
earls  of  Marches,  for  whom  the  orisons  were 
performed.  Part  of  one  of  the  rooms  on  the  first 
story  is  well  worth  observation,  for  the  devices 
(which  are  thirty  in  number)  representing  embla- 
zoned coats  of  arms,  no  doubt  the  armorial  bear- 
ings of  the  founders  or  supporters  :  in  DUGDALB 
we  find  this  priory  rated  at  55l.  4s.  5d.  per 

annum ;  it  is  a  life  estate,  now  the  property 
of  my  much  esteemed  friend  Mrs.  JEFFERY,  a 
character  distinguished  for  possessing  a  superla- 
tive share  of  instinctive  literary  endowments,  with 
a  high  and  cultivated  genius,  uniting  the  scien- 
tific excellence  of  the  head  to  the  moral  goodness 
of  the  heart.  Part  of  the  building  is  appropriated 
to  a  farm  house,  and  the  entrance  to  it  is  through 
an  arched  portal  from  the  church  yard. 

The  church  has  nothing  to  recommend  it  to 
notice  for  superbness  of  building,  or  elegance  of 
ornaments  ;  it  is  a  low  structure,  but  very  ancient, 
and  may  be  plainly  discerned  to  have  been  ori- 
ginally much  larger ;  for  the  tower  (now  at  one 
end)  has  been  formerly  in  the  middle  of  the 
edifice,  which  then  bore  the  form  of  a  cathedral ; 
but  the  transept  and  choir  are  no  longer  in 
existence,  and  the  whole  was  (as  customary) 
contiguous  to  the  priory.  The  tower  has  some- 
thing singular  in  appearance,  being  similar  to 
an  embattled  addition  to  a  castle,  and  Norman 
architecture  is  the  characteristic  of  the  pile. 


An  inscription  in  remote  orthography,  on  a 
narrow  brass  plate  in  the  chancel,  has  much 
excited  the  attention  of  the  learned,  not  only 
in  determining  the  explanation,  but  the  lan- 
guage in  which  it  is  composed ;  by  one  it  has 
been  considered  to  denote  the  long  residence 
of  the  Romans  in  these  parts ;  by  another,  to 
be  an  epitaph  on  a  professor  of  astronomy,  and 
head  of  the  college  of  philosophers  at  Caerleon : 
but  Mr.  OWEN  has  decided  it  to  be  Welsh,  in 
the  dialect  of  Gwent  in  the  15th  century,  I  shall 
therefore  avail  myself  of  that  gentleman's  infor- 
mation and  observation,  resulting  from  a  genius 


which  stands  so  pre-eminently  distinguished. 

«*  I  shall  here  exhibit  the  inscription  as  it  stands  on  the  plate,  pointing 
"  out  such  words  as  are  correctly  written,  according  to  a  known  system  of 
"  Welsh  orthography,  by  capital  letters;  and  by  italics  such  words  as  are 
'•'  tolerably  explicit,  thus  : 

"  Nole  clodc  YR  ethrode  YAR  LLEYN  aduocade  LLAWN  hade 


"  A  barnour  bede  BREYNT  a  pile  tynevaroty  hauabe 
'«  Scliff'sun  o  eir  sinn  a  seadam  yske  eval  huske 
«  Dcke  kummode  doctor  KYMMEN  llena  loe  i  LLAWN  oleue. 

'*  1  come  now  to  the  difficult  part  of  my  task,  the  restoring  of  the  Usk 
e:  inscription  to  its  true  reading  j  in  so  doing,  I  shall  be  guided,  in  the  first 


"  place,  by  the  peculiar  orthography  of  the  Gwentian  dialect,  which,  from 
"  the  proofs  already  mentioned,  should  be  particularly  attended  to. 

"  The  most  popular  metre  in  use  about  the  time  of  the  writing,  is,  in  trfe 
• '  next  place,  a  guide  to  be  followed  with  considerable  reliance ;  but  at  the 
"  same  time  selecting  that  to  which  the  words  will  best  apply  in  their  pre- 
"  sent  form,  and  with  the  slightest  alterations  :  the  one  fixed  upon  to  an- 
"  swer  such  intention  is,  the  CYHYDEZ  WASTAD,  or  the  even  meir  icily, 
•*  thus  defined  in  the  Bardic  Institutes.  'The  characteristics  of  the  even 
'  metricity  are  a  verse  of  eight  syllables,  and  the  length  of  the  stanza  to  be 

*  from  four  to  sixteen  verses,  possessing  the  general  principle  of  the  Canons; 

*  this  metre  is  extremely  free,  and  assumes,  better  than  any  other,  the 

*  rhythmical  harmony  of  the  lines,  and  the  verses  flow  with  regular 

*  accent ;  and  it  is  a  most  suitable  metre  in  compositions  of  love  and  elegy, 
'  and  is  more  universally  used  than  any  other,  except  the  smooth  metri- 
c  city  in  compound  metres.'    Having  traced  out  the  plan,  which  appears 

"  to  me  most  rational,  I  accordingly  give  the  following  as  a  probable  read' 
"  ing  oi  the  inscription  : 

Nota  clod  yr  ethrod  yar  lleyn*  Selyf  synn  o  eir  hwn  a  fu 

Advo  cudf  llawn  hwde  llundeyn  A  daiar  wysk  ei  wal  kysku 

A  barnwni  bed  breynt  ap  llyd J  Dewr  kymmode  doe th  a  chymmenjf 

Ya  e  varn  a  fu  henefyd§  Lien  a  Hue  i  lawn  oleuen ! 

The  meaning  of  which  is  .• 

Mark  this  object  of  fame,  to  the  disgrace  of  the  blade  f : 

were  he  not  covered  London  would  be  in  difficulty. 

Then  let  us  consecrate  the  grave  of  Braint  **  son  of  Llydd  ft 

who  in  judgment  was  an  elderff  ; 

Solomon  profound  of  word,  was  he  j 

and  the  sod  of  Isca  his  bed  of  sleep ! 

Ardently  he  would  reconcile  the  eloquent,  and  the  wise  J  J  ; 

the  clergy  and  the  laity  would  be  fully  illumined. 


*  Another  reading,  Neut  clad  yr  atkro  dayar  tteyn;  Ah,  is  not  the  grave 
of  the  great  teacher  the  sod  of  the  vale. 

•f-  Or,  ddvo  cad,  were  there  a  battle  again. 

J  Or,  A  lardoni  leird  breynt  ay  llet,  and  the  lore  of  the  bards  of  privilege 
»m'  their  joy. 

§  Or,  Yn  ei  varw  sy  en  liafies,  in  his  death  is  become  their  misfortune. 

||  Or,  Teg  y  fcimmod  doctor  kymmen,  fairly  the  eloquent  doctor  reconciled. 

A  free  reading,  according  to  these  notes  would  be :-— Ah  behold  the  grave 
of  the  great  teacher  is  the  sod  of  the  vale !  when  a  battle  took  place  London 
felt  embarrassed ;  and  the  song  of  the  Bards  of  ancient  lore  and  their  joy, 
all  vanish  through  his  death :  he  who  was  like  Solomon,  profound  of  word, 
on  Isca's  banks  his  couch  of  sleep!  fairly  the  eloquent  doctor  reconciled 
disputes :  clergy  and  laity  were  fully  enlightened  by  him. 

^f  The  original  word  for  this  is  Llam,  which  signifies  any  thing  stretched 
Out  flatly,  also  a  flat  slang  of  land  ;  a  vale. 

**  The  meaning  of  this  word  is  privilege ;  but  as  it  has  been  used  for  a 
proper  name  of  men,  I  have  taken  it  in  that  sense,  otherwise  no  name 
occurs  as  the  object  of  the  inscription. 

•j-f-  These  parts  of  the  original  are  so  obscured,  that  it  may  be  made  any 
thing  else  of  the  same  length. 

JJ  I  have  preserved  an  ambiguous  form,  like  the  original,  in  this  line,  for 
if  it  were  written  and  pointed  ;  ardently  he  would  reconcile,  the  eloquent 
and  the  wise ;  the  epithets  eloquent  and  wise,  might  be  applied  to  him  who 
is  described  as  the  reconciler. 

What  is  now  a  prison  was  once  a  Roman  Ca- 
tholic chapel,  where  many  parts  of  the  structure 
are  perceivable,  and  in  the  gothic  style,  parti- 
cularly the  southern  gateway,  but  that  to  the 
north  is  now  filled  up. 


Of  Usk  castle,  very  little  can  be  said  of  its 
present  splendor,  nor  can  we  perceive  it  ever 
bore  ensigns  of  magnificence.  It  is  ponderous  in 
construction,  and  not  remarkable  for  singular 
contrivances ;  one  gateway  remains  which  was 
the  principal  entrance,  and  the  groove  which  con- 
tained its  portcullis  may  be  seen;  round  and 
square  towers,  as  usual,  were  its  chief  strength, 
and  from  the  eyelet  holes  an  enemy  might 
be  descried  or  annoyed  :  the  baronial  hall  was 
48  feet  by  24  wide ;  the  shell  of  the  whole 
spreads  over  a  large  tract,  (of  which  part  is  con- 
verted to  a  farm,)  with  a  character"  speaking  it 
to  have  been  founded  in  the  Norman  aera. 

In  the  reign  of  Henry  III.  Maud,  the  widow 
of  the  earl  of  Glocester  and  Hereford,  had  the 
castle  and  manor  of  Usk  assigned  to  her  as  a 
dower;  in  1314,  when  the  last  earl  of  the  Clare 
line  died,  the  castle  was  conveyed  by  Elizabeth 
his  sister,  to  her  husband  John  de  Burgh  ;  their 
grand  daughter  Elizabeth  was  married  to  the  duke 
of  Clarence,  the  third  son  of  Edward  III ;  their 
daughter  Philippa  married  Mortimer,  the  earl 


of  March  and  Ulster,  a  lord  of  Wigmore,  Clare, 
and  Connaught,  and  marshal  of  England;  he 
died  at  Cork  in  1381;  his  son  Roger,  who 
was  born  in  1 374  at  this  castle,  went  with  the 
king  to  Ireland  in  1 396,  but  three  years  after  he 
lost  his  life  through  his  own  incautiousness  of 
being  in  an  habit  similar  to  his  opponents;  his 
eldest  son,  Edmund,  was  married  to  Anne,  the 
daughter  of  the  earl  of  Stafford,  but  as  no  issue 
was  left  by  them,  the  castle,  &c.  was  inherited 
by  his  nephew,  the  duke  of  York,  who  had  two 
sons  born  here,  both  of  whom  became  kings  of 
England,  viz.  Edward  IV.  and  Richard  III. ;  on 
the  death  of  Richard,  Henry  VII.  who  married 
the  daughter  of  Edward  IV.  became  the  propri- 
etor: it  now  belongs  to  the  duke  of  BEAUFORT, 

who  has  purchased  it  of  lord  CLIVE. 


The  ruinous  state  of  the  castle  is,  by  the  na- 
tives, ascribed  to  Owen  Glendour,  perhaps  the 
consequence  of  the  famous  battle  of  Usk,  fought 
between  him  and  the  prince  of  Wales,  A.  D. 
1405,  in  which  Owen  was  defeated  with  the 
loss  of  150O  of  his  men,  and  his  son  taken  pri- 


'soner.  Owen  Glendour,  or  Glendwr,  was  in 
much  estimation  with  the  Welsh,  *  who  still  con- 
ceive him  worthy  of  being  reverenced,  and  main- 
tain, that  his  consequence  was  such  as  to  have 
his  birth  attended  with  extraordinary  prodigies. 
HOLLINGSHEAD  tells  us  a  singular  story,  that 
at  his  birth  his  father's  horses  were  found  standing 
in  a  torrent  of  blood  ;  and  SHAKESPEARE  makes 
him  say  of  himself,  that 

"  The  front  of  Heaven  was  full  of  fiery  shapes, 
"  of  bursting  cressets — and  at  my  birth, 
"  the  frame  and  the  foundation  of  the  earth 
"  shaked  like  a  coward. 

"  At  my  nativity 

"  the  goats  ran  from  the  mountains,  and  the  herds 
"  were  strangely  clamorous  in  the  frightened  fields. 
"  •  I  can  call  spirits  from  the  vasty  deep, 

"  And  teach  thee,  cousin,  to  command  the  devil." 

During  the  reign  of  Richard  II.  Owen  was  in 
favor  at  court,  and  possessed  great  influence, 
insomuch  that  Reginald,  lord  Grey,  of  Ruthin, 
(who  was  at  enmity  with  him),  could  not  obtain 
a  desire  relating  to  a  portion  of  land  which  sepa* 


rated  his  estate  from  that  of  Owen ;  but  in  the 
succeeding  reign  of  Henry  IV.  Owen  was  dis- 
countenanced, and  Reginald  procured  his  claim ; 
and  on  an  unsuccessful  application  to  Parliament 
upon  this  business,  Glendwr  took  up  arms  and 
asserted  his  right  to  the  crown  of  Wales,  as  a 
lineal  descendant  from  Llewellin.  His  first  enter- 
prize  was  the  defeat  and  capture  of  his  opponent 
Reginald,  whose  estates  were  consequently  pil- 
laged. Edmund  Mortimer,  uncle  to  the  earl  of 
March  (who  was  heir  to  the  crown  at  Richard's 
death),  raised  an  army  to  oppose  Glendwr,  anno 
1400,  but  was  taken  prisoner,  and  his  army  dis- 
comfited. The  king  also  went  with  intention  of 
giving  him  battle,  but,  owing  to  tempestuous 
and  singular  storms,  was  under  the  necessity  of 
withdrawing  his  forces.  This  circumstance  was 
looked  on  by  the  parties,  as  purposely  contrived 
by  the  magic  of  the  Welsh  chief,  and  contributed 
to  raise  his  consequence  with  his  adherents. 

As  Henry  was  by  many  deemed  an  usurper, 
Owen  was  assisted  by  lord  Percy/  the  earls  of 
Worcester  and  Northumberland;  and  his  captive 


Mortimer  at  last  joined  in  the  scheme  to  dethrone 
the  king;  but  this  project  was  defeated  by  the 
event  of  the  famous  battle  of  Shrewsbury,  in 
which  contest  the  prince  of  Wales  (afterwards 
Henry  V.)  was  wounded  in  the  face  by  an  arrow, 
but,  not  dispirited,  he  gallantly  continued  in  the 
battle  till  the  victory  was  acquired  by  the  king's 
forces  on  the  21st  of  July,  1403. 

After  this,  the  royalists  being  partly  sent  further 
northward,  the  several  castles  and  posts  which 
the  king  had  in  Wales,  were  confided  to  the  care 
of  different  persons  of  known  fidelity ;  among  the 
rest  we  find  Usk  was  entrusted  to  Sir  Edward 
Charlton,  of  Powys, 

Glendwr  well  knowing  that  Charles  VI.  king 
of  France  (father-in-law  to  his  late  sovereign, 
Richard  II.)  wanted  not  inclination  to  avenge  his 
death,  entered  into  a  treaty  which  was  agreed 
upon  at  Lanpardam,  in  1404,  to  assist  by  an 
invasion  of  England,  and  the  Scots  were  also  in 
his  favour  :  he  had  a  defeat  in  Montgomeryshire, 
and  from  thence  retired  into  Gwent :  his  next 

action  was  at  Craig-y-dortb,  where  he  gave  the 
earl  of  Warwick  considerable  trouble,  and  it 
was  with  difficulty  the  earl  could  prevent  the  total 
devastation  of  the  country.  He  was  unsuccessful 
at  the  battle  of  Usk,  in  which  he  lost  1500  of 
his  men;  and  was  still  more  unfortunate  at  the 
battle  of  Grosmont,  where  his  army  of  8000  men, 
commanded  by  his  eldest  son  Griffith,  were  com- 
pletely beaten,  Griffith  taken  prisoner,  and  his 
uncle  Tudor  killed ;  this  disaster  greatly  daunted 
the  Welsh,  who  principally  in  Monmouthshire 
and  Glamorgan  submitted  to  the  king ;  and  in 
order  to  finish  the  rebellion,  the  king  personally 
guided  an  army  into  the  Marches,  but  storms  and 
tempests  frustrated  him,  so  that  what  SHAKE? 
SPEARE  put  into  Glendwr's  mouth,  appears  to 
have  some  foundation  in  fact — 

"  Three  times  hath  Henry  Boiingbroke  made  head   ' 
"  against  my  power — thrice,  from  banks  of  Wye 
**  and  sandy  bottom'd  Severn,  have  I  sent 
"  him  bootless  home,  and  weather-beaten  back." 

,  The  king  of  France  being  insane,  the  duke  of 
Orleans,  as  Regent,  fulfilled  the  engagement  to 

Glendwr,  and  furnished  him  with  12,000  men, 
who  landed  at  Milford,  headed  by  Marshal  de 
Rieux  and  Aubert  de  Hugueville;  with  these 
Glendwr  acquired  fresh  vigor,  and  pushed  on 
with  devastation  through  Southern  Wales  unto 
Worcester,  where  the  king  in  person  opposed 
him  at  Woodbury-hill,  and  by  preventing  supplies 
and  necessaries  from  reaching  Owen,  and  other 
dexterous  manoeuvres,  obliged  the  Frenchmen  to 
retire  into  Wales,  and  finally  to  return  to  France. 
With  the  fortune  of  war,  did  his  former  adhe- 
rents also  forsake  him ;  and  though  Glendwr 
was  not  entirely  subdued,  and  frequently  com- 
mitted devastation,  yet  in  the  end  he  was  obliged 
to  secrete  himself  amongst  the  central  mountains 
and  fortresses,  particularly  Plinlimmon. 

To  revenge  the  turbulence  of  Glendwr,  Henry 
enacted  severe  laws  against  the  Welsh  in  general, 
and  proceeded  in  such  measures  as  would  ulti- 
mately have  exterminated  the  remains  of  manners 
and  of  men,  or  have  sunk  them  into  the  most 
degraded  abjects:  but  this  malicious  intention 
was  frustrated  by  the  death  of  the  king ;  and  his 

son  Henry  V.  of  a  more  noble  and  generous  dis- 
position, sought  only  to  conciliate  the  people  by 
measures  more  likely  to  ensure  success — to  par- 
don Owen  and  his  followers ;  but  this  scheme 
was  interrupted  by  the  death  of  that  remarkable 
chieftain  at  his  daughter's,  where  he  had  long 
lived  in  disguise. 

Among  the  Welsh  chiefs,  Owen  Glendwr  is 
certainly  orte  of  the  most  singular,  and  however 
erroneous  his  views  might  have  been,  still  we 
cannot  but  wish  he  had  finished  his  life  in  a  more 
respectable  manner ;  if  we  consider  his  peculiar 
situation,  we  mast  admire  his  perseverance ;  and 
we  are  told  his  prudence  was  equally  meritorious  : 
his  character  was  sufficient  to  close  any  engage- 
ment; and  for  enterprise  and  warlike  bravery,  he 
may  rank  in  the  first  line :  not  only  in  the  field 
was  his  bounty  extended,  but  encouragement  was 
held  out  to  every  one  in  the  most  liberal  manner ; 
the  Bards  were  patronized  by  him,  and  revived 
those  innocent  means  of  handing  to  future 
fame  the  actions  of  the  worthy,  or  stimulating 
ardor  in  the  breast  of  the  warrior  by  those  ani- 

mating  effusions  in  which  the  Bards  were  so  well 

The  Welsh  have  long  been  enthusiastic  in  their 
eulogies  of  this  chief,  and  particularly  at  Ma- 
chynlleth,  where  in  1402,  the  States  of  the  Prin- 
cipality were  assembled,  and  gave  him  the  crown 
of  Wales.  In  the  outset  of  his  career  he  was 
nearly  assassinated  by  David  Gam,  of  notoriety ; 
but  after  imprisoning  the  transgressor  for  some 
time,  he  magnanimously  pardoned  him.  For  15 
years  did  Owen  occupy  the  attention  of  Henry 
IV.  and  all  the  skill  and  courage  of  the  prince, 
who,  instead  of  detesting,  seemed  to  venerate  the 
prowess  of  his  opponent,  and  on  his  accession  to 
the  throne  was  willing  to  negotiate  with  Glendwr, 
and  eventually  to  have  pardoned  him  and  his  ad- 
herents, had  not  the  death  of  the  chief  prevented 
it;  The  same  terms  were  offered  to  and  accepted 
by  his  son  Meredyth  ap  Owen ;  and  unanimity 
was  once  more  restored  to  the  kingdom. 

On  leaving  Usk,  I  beg  to  recommend  to  the 
traveller  to  pursue  the  road  to  Pontypool,  which 

is  not  only  interesting  by  its  diversity  of  pic- 
turesque scenery,  but  gratifying  by  a  sight  of  its 
manufactory,  for  which  the  place  is  celebrated. 
Having  appointed  my  late  guide  at  Caerleon  to 
meet  me,  I  returned  by  that  place,  as  I  had  en- 
trusted him  to  negotiate  the  purchase  of  some 
ancient  relics ;  finding  by  experience  that  far  more 
advantageous  terms  could  thus  be  made,  than 
by  my  own  personal  application. 

Ascending  the  hill  to  Christchurch,  I  was  again 
requited  by  that  delightful  scene,    which  would . 

furnish  everlasting  entertainment  to  the  eye  with- 
out being  wearied  by  a  tedious  sameness  :  on 
pursuing  the  same  road,  it  receives  an  additional 
charm  by  the  Usk  stealing  from  the  Bristol  chan- 
nel in  innumerable  windings  up  to  Newport, 
whjere  it  is  seen  bathing  the  walls  of  its  castle, 

This  place  was,  in  the  Welsh  language,  called 
Guentluge,  and  though  it  is  not  of  large  extent, 
contains  several  good  houses,  principally  about  the 
market-place  ;  the  main  street  is  extremely  steep, 
and  the  habitations  on  one  side  are  considerably 

elevated  above  the  road,  where  the  pavement  Is 
not  only  rough,  but  in  many  respects  dangerous, 
continuing  to  St.  Woolos  church,  on  the  top  of 
the  hill.  The  town  has  nothing  peculiarly  attrac- 
tive in  its  appearance,  by  streets  long,  narrow, 
and  dirty,  yet  its  situation  is  in  every  respect 
suitable  for  convenience  and  traffic ;  it  is  about 
three  miles  from  Caerleon,  which  originally  was 
the  principal  resort;  but  falling  into  disrepute, 
and  being  higher  up  the  river,  the  present  town 
arose  from  its  decay,  and  is  denominated  New- 
port in  contradistinction  to  the  old  one.  The 
rivet  from  hence  to  the  channel  is  broad,  deep, 
and  safe;  anil  with  its  windings  is  about  seven 

It  must  of  latter  years  have  much  increased, 
for  LELAND  describes  it  as  a  "  town  yn  mine," 
and  mentions  three  gates  as  standing,  of  which 
two  may  now  be  seen,  though  none  of  the  walls 
that  once  surrounded  it  can  be  discovered  ;  this 
town  was  in  early  ages  an  appendage  to  the 
Lordship  of  Glamorgan,  comprehending  all  the 
Country  which  lay  between  the  rivers  Usk  and 

Neath;  the  bridge  which  has  not  been  com- 
pleted much  more  than  a  twelvemonth,  is  a  plain 
but"  neat  structure  of  five  arches,  and  appears  to 
be  strong  and  durable,  which  the  great  tor- 
rents that  in  bad  weather  discharge  themselves 
from  the  mountains  into  this  stream,  require  it 
to  be.  Coal  is  remarkably  plentiful,  and  good  of 
its  kind,  and  yields  a  considerable  source  of  profit 
to  the  place,  from  the  large  quantities  exported 
to  Bristol  and  many  other  parts.  In  addition  to 
coal,  there  is  a  great  traffic  for  bar  and  pig  iron, 
and  all  necessaries,  furniture,  groceries,  &c.  are 
here  imported  for  the  service  of  the  surrounding 
country.  Two  vessels  are  regular  in  sailing  for 
Bristol  on  Tuesdays,  and  return  Thursdays  or 
Fridays,  and  have  generally  a  number  of  passen- 
gers who  attend  the  markets  with  their  various 

Newport  is  as  yet  reckoned  only  a  creek  of 
Cardiff,  so  that  all  entries  inwards  and  outwards 
are  included  under  that  head,  but  it  bids  fair  to 
rival  all  the  neighbouring  ports,  and  to  become 
a  place  of  some  consequence ;  as  a  canal  has 

been  completed  for  the  more  ready  conveyance  of 
the  coal,  iron,  &c.  from  the  mountains  to  the 
quays :  to  persons  accustomed  to  the  convenience 
of  regular  quays,  Newport  will  appear  contempt- 
ible, from  the  slovenly  mode  of  loading  and 
unloading  upon  stages  which  totter  under  the 
work ;  and  the  vessels  are  lying  on  the  bank  at 
once  steep  and  filthy  :  it  is  to  be  hoped  the  spirit 
of  enterprize  will  not  rest  with  the  completion 
of  the  canal,  but  contribute  for  the  convenience 
of  proper  quays  and  safer  births. 

In  the  length  of  the  canal  from  Cromlech  to 
the  bason  at  Newport,  there  is  a  fall  of  624  feet 
of  water,  by  52  locks ;  and  about  three  miles 
from  Newport,  a  succession  of  15  locks  each 
into  the  other  has  a  singular  appearance,  which 
causes  a  rising  of  180  feet  by  the  whole.  The 
expectations  of  the  town  for  an  increasing  busi- 
ness is  so  great,  that  they  have  it  in  contem- 
plation to  make  a  dram -road  from  the  collieries 
and  factories  up  the  country  to  be  contiguous 
*o  the  canal,  and  carried  a  considerable  distance 
from  the  present  quays  lower  down  .the  river,  tp 

avoid  the  tedious  windings  of  the  stream  and 
facilitate  expedition,  and  to  insure  at  all  times  a 
regular  supply  which  might  be  prevented  by  the 
canal  being  frozen,  or  other  casual  impediments. 

From  the  church  yard  may  be  seen  an  exten- 
sive and  beautiful  prospect,  exhibiting  most  of  the 
principal  mountains  in  the  county ;  the  Sugar- 
Loaf  beyond  Abergavenny  is  very  conspicuous, 
and  Twm  Barlwm  and  the  Machen  Hill  shew 
their  bleak  summits  :  the  eye  wanders  with  de- 
light over  the  extensive  levels  of  Wentloog,  part 
so  thickly  grouped  with  trees  to  resemble  a  wood, 
and  rendered  interesting  by  spires  peeping  above 
them,  others  representing  marshes  which  appear 
to  have  suffered  the  evils  of  inundation  from  the 
neighbouring  channel,  and  beyond  the  Severn  to 
the  high  lands  of  Somersetshire  and  Glocester- 
shire  ;  in  fine  and  clear  weather  this  solemn  repo- 
sitory of  departed  beings  will  not  only  afford 
suitable  reflections,  but  give  an  exhibition  of  as 
^beautiful  and  varied  a  natural  picture  as  most 
eminences ;  nor  does  its  peculiarity  rest  with  its 
external  views,  as  the  interior  exhibits  fine  spe* 

cimens  of  Saxon  architecture  by  its  pillars,  and 
numerous  wreathings  which  richly  decorated  the 

The  church  is  dedicated  to  St.  Woolos,  a 
saint  of  high  honor  with  the  early  Welsh,  and 
is  reported  to  be  the  eldest  son  of  a  Dimetian 
king  in  South  Wales,  and  married  to  a  daughter 
of  a  Brecknockshire  prince,  by  whom  he  had  St. 
Kenna  and  the  great  St.  Cadoc,  founder  of  Llan- 
carvan:  for  some  time  previous  to  his  death  ho 
was  exemplary  in  retirement,  and  rigorous  in 
manner ;  his  clothing  was  sackcloth,  his  food 
barley  bread  strewed  with  ashes,  and  his  drink 
water;  he  rose  to  prayer  at  midnight,  and  sub~ 
sisted  by  the  labour  of  his  hands ;  he  died  near 
the  end  of  the  fifth  century,  glorified  by  mi- 

When  the  church  was  originally  founded  is 
uncertain,  but  the  Saxon  and  Norman  work- 
manship so  plainly  perceivable  convince  us  oj 

•  Lives  of  the  Saints, 

early  date,  but  the  tower  was  added  to  it  by 
Henry  III.  in  gratitude  for  signal  services  he 
received  from  the  inhabitants,  and  the  earl  of 
Glocester  (who  was  the  possessor  of  the  cas- 
tle), in  opposition  to  the  rebels  under  the  earl  of 
Leicester ;  his  statue  was  placed  in  the  front, 
where  it  still  is  to  be  seen  headless,  having  been 
thus  mutilated  by  Cromwell's  soldiers. 


There  is  a  tradition  of  a  stream  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Newport  called  Nant-Kentham,  dis- 
tinguished by  the  advantage  king  Henry  II. 
derived  from  his  freckled  face  when  passing  over 
it;  it  having  been  foretold  by  Merlin  Sylvester 
that  they  should  be  conquered  by  a  prince  so 
marked  by  nature,  and  who  would  pass  that  ford ; 
on  this  the  Welsh  submitted  without  offering 
the  least  resistance,  judging  that  opposition  would 
be  violating  the  sacred  tie  which  they  ever  felt 
themselves  bound  to,  by  the  prophecies  of  old. 

At  one  end  of  the  bridge  stand  the  remains  of 
the  ancient  castle,  erected  by  Martin,  lord  of 



'         t 

Cemais,  and  strengthened  by  the  earl  of  Gloces- 
ter  and  Bristol ;  excepting  one  part  at  the  farthest 
end  (which  is  inhabited  by  a  poor  family),  the 
whole  is  now  in  ruins,  and  only  serves  as  a 
safe  retreat  for  those  birds  which  seek  for  an 
undisturbed  haunt, 

It  has  been  a  strong  building,  though  not  very 
large,  one  side  has  its  foot  standing  in  the  river, 
where  it  "had  an  entrance  under  an  arch  guarded 
by  a  portcullis ;  over  this  was  the  principal  room 
roofed  with  stone,  and  an  octagon  tower  flanked 
the  whole  :  the  other  three  sides  had  a  deep  moat 
surrounding  them  of  not  less  than  20  yards  over; 
many  parts  of  the  building  shewing  the  gothic 
style,  and  indicating  it  to  have  had  additions  dur- 
ing the  Norman  age,  and  in  the  several  disturb* 
ances  from  the  surrounding  Welsh,  was  very 
serviceable  to  check  their  progress,  or  in  whosever 
hands  it  was,  to  give  a  temporary  security.  Not 
far  from  it  was  an  institution  for  Friar  Preachers, 
and  the  house  was  granted  by  Henry  VIII.  in  the 
35th  year  of  his  reign,  to  Sir  Edward  Cam. 


Maud,  the  eldest  daughter  of  Robert  Fitz- 
hamon,  among  other  possessions  granted  Newport 
to  her  husband,  Robert  earl  of  Glocester  and 
Bristol,  who  by  his  skill  in  arms  was  the  means 
of  placing  his  nephew,  Henry  II.  on  the  throne  : 
there  are  undoubted  proofs  that  previous  to  his 
time  the  castle  was  erected,  and  strongly  garri- 
soned ;  at  his  death  it  became  the  property  of 
the  earl  of  Hertford  by  marriage  :  in  1313  it  was, 
with  the  town,  given  to  Margaret,  who  married 
Hugh  de  Audley,  but  her  sister  having  married 
the  renowned  favourite  of  Edward  II.  Plugh  le 
Despenser,  she  was  obliged  to  surrender  this  part 
of  her  property,  and  he  procured  the  inhabitants 
a  charter  of  considerable  privilege  :  on  the  down- 
fall of  that  haughty  minion,  it  was  returned  to 
De  Audley,  whose  daughter  marrying  the  earl 
of  Stafford,  a  person  greatly  respected  by  Edward 
III.  who,  for  eminent  services  performed  at  the 
celebrated  battle  of  Cressy,  was  created  earl  of 
Hereford,  (and  it  is  worthy  of  remark,  that  New- 
port and  Netherwent  furnished  sixty  men  with 
lances  in  that  important  conflict)  j  his  descendants 



enjoyed  the  same  until  Edward,  the  third  duke 
of  Buckingham,  was  executed  by  order  of  Henry 
VIII.  who  seized  it  and  sold  the  castle  to  the 
Herberts,  of  St.  Julian's,  from  whom  it  descended 
to  the  Powis'  family  ;  it  was  afterwards  purchased 
by  Charles  Van,  Esq.  of  Lanwerne,  but  the 
castle  is  now  in  two  distinct  properties ;  the  tower 
near  the  bridge  and  the  manor  of  Newport  are 
the  property  of  the  marquis  of  Worcester,  and 
the  remainder  belongs  to  William  Keymeys,  Esq. 
of  Mayndee. 

Pursuing  the  left-hand  road  from  St.  Woolos 
church,  Cardiff  presents  itself  at  the  extremity  of 
an  exceeding  pleasing  and  interesting  ride  of 
twelve  miles.  Between  the  third  and  fourth  mile- 
stone, passing  over  the  wooden-piered  bridge  that 
crosses  the  river  Ebwy,  an  elegant  mansion  is 
observed :  the  grounds  and  plantations  about  it 
are  extensive,  and  remarkably  varied  in  the  beauty 
of  their  scenery.  The  park,  which  is  well  stocked 
with  deer,  rises  with  graceful  ascent,  until  it  breaks 
into  numerous  eminences,  pleasingly  capped  with 
fine  timber,  shading  vestiges  of  ancient  warfare, 



intermixed  with  hanging  woods,  bewildering  the 
eye  in  every   fanciful   pleasing  variety. 

A  mountain  stream  meandering  through  the 
vale,  and  contributes  to  adorn  the  mansion  by 
supplying  the  canal  that  flows  near  it. 

Approaching  an  aged  man  who  was  at  work  on 
the  road,  whose  appearance  carried  evidences  of 
information,  with  manners  softened  by  a  former 
more  elevated  sphere  of  life,  induced  me  to  en- 
quire of  him  the  name  of  the  place  and  proprietor : 
the  sensations  of  his  mind  urged  the  hasty  reply 
of,  "  Tredegar,  the  seat  of  Sir  CHARLES  MORGAN, 
"  Bart."  nor  could  he  desist  from  making  a 
declaration  in  his  benefactor's  praise,  with  a 
warmth  that  bespoke  a  flame  of  gratitude  was 
kindled  in  his  heart,  which  could  only  be  extin- 
guished by  the  close  of  his  life.  On  my  asking 
him  if  the  house  was  not  damp  from  the  lowness 
of  its  situation,  being  so  near  the  canal,  his  ani- 
mation in  an  instant  fled,  and  sorrowfully  leaning 
on  his  spade,  made  no  reply,  but  appeared  lost  in 
contemplation,  or  pensively  reviewing  the  bounties 


of  its  possessor :  anxious  to  know  the  cause  of  this 
change,  but  unwilling  to  disturb  the  meditation  of 
his  mind,  at  length  repeated  the  question ;  he  pre- 
served the  same  posture,  with  shaking  his  head, 
and  after  a  lengthened  pause,  exclaimed  the  cruel 
prophecy,  and  said  it  had  been  foretold,  Ruperra* 
would  become  a  victim  to  the  flames,  and  that 
Tredegar  would  find  a  watery  grave,  by  being 
undermined  by  subterraneous  springs :  the  former, 
added  he,  has  been  verified ;  and  directing  his 
eyes  to  the  latter,  they  became  too  much  daz- 
zled by  the  rhetoric  of  his  sensibility  and  grati- 
tude to  make  any  observation  on  it ;  but  his 
tongue  expressed  its  fears  that  such  a  fatality 
should  happen,  by  which  he  should  be  denied 
offering  those  blessings  to  its  possessor,  which 
were  the  constant  and  only  tribute  he  could  pay 
for  his  beneficence. 

Every  eminence  on  this  road  unfolds  an 
enlarged  map  of  ocean,  and  a  more  extensive 
prospect  of  the  level  of  Wentloog. 

*  Another  house  belonging  to  Sir  CHARLES  MORC AN,  Bart. 


The  churches  of  Peterstone,  St.  Bride's,  Marsh- 
field,  &c.  with  numerous  white  cottages,  enliven 
and  embellish  the  view ;  and  the  broad  sheet,  of 
water  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach,  seldom  is  with- 
out vessels  of  all  descriptions  gliding  over  it. 

At  five  miles  and  a  half  is  Castletown,  a  small 
but  neat  village  ;  at  seven  and  half,  St.  Melon's  ; 
and  at  the  distance  of  three  from  Cardiff,  we 
cross  the  bridge  over  the  Romney,  whose  wind- 
ing course  divides  the  counties  of  Monmolith 
and  Glamorgan.  Of  this  bridge,  the  dilapidated 
state  is  sufficient  to  create  fears  in  the  timid 
breast,  sufficient  to  render  it  an  object  of  repar- 
ation, and  sufficient  inducement  to  any  public 
spirit  to  enforce  the  Act  of  Parliament. 

The  entrance  to  the  town  of  Cardiff  is  better 
and  more  pleasing  than  is  customary  with  old 
towns.  The  building  on  the  right  assumes 
the  air  of  monastic  ruins,  and  has  been 
the  habitation  of  white  friars.  A  considerable 
portion  of  the  old  walls  are  remaining,  and 
also  those  which  were  added  for  the  greater 


strength  and  convenience  of  merlons  or  battle- 
ments, in  the  troublesome  time  of  Charles  I. 
Its  shape  was  nearly  square,  and  there  seem  to 
have  been  towers  at  each  angle  of  the  wall  ;  a 
great  part  of  Cock's  Tower  is  now  standing, 
beautifully  arrayed  in  a  rich  drapery  of  ivy; 
the  whole  was  surrounded  by  a  deep  ditch,  part 
of  which  now  is  appropriated  to  the,  purposes 
of  the  canal. 

The  town  itself  is  clean,  well  provided,  and 
convenient,  tolerably  well  built,  and  pleasantly 
situated  in  a  flat  fertile  country.  The  town-hall 
has  a  respectable  appearance  when  viewed  on  the 
front,  and  the  broad  open  street  facing,  is  where 
the  markets  are  held  on  Wednesdays  and  Satur- 
days, when  every  article  in  season  may  be  abun- 
dantly procured,  and  tolerably  reasonable. 

Cardiff  appears  to  be  rising  fast  into  conse- 
quence as  a  maritime  port,  from  its  canal,  which 
is  judiciously  planned  and  well  completed  ;  the 
bason  (as  it  is  called)  although  not  wider  than 
would  conveniently  accommodate  three  large  ships 


abreast,  yet  from  its  length  and  depth,  is  capable 
of  containing  some  hundreds,  it  being  upwards 
of  a  mile  in  length,  and  increasing  in  width  to- 
wards the  sea-lock.  Vessels  come  up  close  to 
the  town  to  take  or  discharge  their  cargoes,  with- 
out any  regard  to  size  or  burthen,  and  are  always 
afloat,  to  the  great  advantage  of  the  merchant, 
and  benefit  of  the  place  :  the  entrance  chamber 
to  it  from  the  sea  is  sufficiently  deep  for  the 
largest  man  of  war,  being  carried  down  to  the 
bed  of  the  river  (for  the  canal  is  considerably 
above  the  Taffe). 

The  whole  length  of  the  canal  from  Mer- 
thyr  Tydfil  is  rather  more  than  25  miles,  and 
the  fall  of  water,  from  its  head  to  the  sea-lock, 
is  568  feet,  five  inches ;  its  course  almost  sur- 
rounds the  town,  for,  after  leaving  the  bason, 
it  is  continued  in  the  direction  of  the  walls  till  it 
passes  near  the  new  bridge,  and  then  follows 
pretty  nearly  the  course  of  the  Taffe  :  although 
it  is  not  more  than  four  feet  deep  at  most,  the 
barges  carry  from  15  to  20  tons,  and  one  horse 
is  generally  found  sufficient  to  haul  them. 


The  walks,  in  fine  weather,  on  the  sides  of  the 
bason,  are  very  pleasant,  and  present  delightful 
prospects ;  and  the  high  promontory,  or  head- 
land before  you,  is  called  Pen-narth  :  the  church 
on  the  extreme  top  serves  as  a  sea-mark ;  and  the 
two  islands  directly  in  sight  are  the  flat  and  steep 
Holmes  :  the  flat,  though  apparently  near  you, 
is  not  less  than  nine  miles  distant — and  between 
the  two  are  three  miles  more.  Should  (which  is 
often  the  case)  a  number  of  vessels  be  at  anchor, 
waiting  for  a  wind,  the  scene  is  truly  grand ;  but 
at  all  times  vessels  are  moving  in  some  direction 
or  other. 

The  river  Tafle  has  amazingly  altered  its  course 
of  late  years,  and  has  approached  the  walls  of  the 
town :  there  are  many  persons  who  remember 
that  the  utmost  strength  of  a  man  could  not 
throw  a  stone  from  St.  Mary's  church  yard  into 
the  river ;  yet  such  has  been  the  fury  of  the 
stream,  when  swelled  by  mountain  freshes,  and 
the  many  water-courses  which  fall  into  it,  that 
nearly  the  whole  church  yard  is  washed  away,  and 
discloses  the  graves  of  the  buried ;  and  bones  of 

every  description  are  visibly  sticking  about  the 
bank:  this  must  be  viewed  with  regret,  to 
observe  the  little  attention  paid  by  the  living; 
a  sacred  charge  due  to  the  ashes  of  the  dead. 
The  foundations  of  several  houses  have  been 
destroyed,  and  unless  precautions  are  taken  to 
preserve  those  now  adjoining,  they  will,  in  all 
probability,  share  the  like  destruction.  St.  Mary's 
church,  and  many  dwellings,  were  swept  away  by 
an  uncommon  and  dreadfully  destructive  rise  of 
the  tide  in  the  channel,  in  the  year  1607,  and 
have  not  since  been  rebuilt ;  so  that  although 
Cardiff  has  two  parishes,  there  is  but  one  church, 
called  St.  John's,  a  neat  structure,  having  not  an 
inelegant  tower,  which,  though  plain  in  itself,  is 
well  set  off  by  the  lightness  and  beauty  of  the 
pinnacles  and  battlements. 

Cardiff  was  originally  known  by  the  name  of 
Rhatostabius  Ostium ;  and  on  the  invasion  of 
Britain  by  the  Romans,  their  general,  Aulus 
Didius,  raised  a  fort,  and  garrisoned  it,  to  keep 
the  Silures  in  awe.  From  this  circumstance  the 




Cambro  Britons  gave  it  the  name  of  Caer-did1 
It  next  had  its  name  from  its  situation  on  tha 
TafFe,  and  was  called  Caer-tafFe,  CaerdafF,  or 
CaerdifF;  from  whence  it  has  corrupted  to  Cardiff. 
The  date  of  its  founding  is  said  to  have  been  in 
J080,  but  it  certainly  must  have  been  consider- 
ably earlier,  from  what  is  above  related ;  and  if 
reliance  is  to  be  placed  on  the  Liber  Landavensis 
now  in  LandafF  Cathedral,  it  will  be  found  that 
Meurich,  king  of  Glamorgan  (the  father  of  the 
famous  Arthur)  was  a  native  of  CardifF. 

That,  however,  the  town  is  ancient,  and  has 
been  of  moment  to  several  monarchies,  the  castle 
rind  its  appendages  fully  evince?  and  Justin  ap 

f       ^ 

<^nrgan  was  the  last  Welsh  prince  who  occupied 
it.  It  was  rebuilt  in  the  style  and  strength  of  a 
Norman  fortress,  by  Robert  earl  of  Glocester,  in 
the  reign  of  Henry  I.  In  1 101,  when  the  Mont- 
gomery family  was  in  rebellion,  headed  by  llv- 
carls  of  Shrewsbury  and  Pembroke,  several  occu- 
piers of  fortresses  in  the  marches  joined,  and  were 
suppressed  by  the  above-named  monarch  ;  and 
the  territory  of  CardifF*Avas  given  to  Cadvvgan, 


but  subject  to  Robert  de  Belmarsb,  bisbop  of 
London,  who  was  a  warden  of  the  marches.*  In. 
111O,  Robert  Fitzhamon,  after  his  conquest  of 
Glamorganshire,  divided  the  country  among  his 
twelve  Norman  knights,  but  reserved  Cardiff  to 
himself,  which  he  enlarged  and  strengthened 
for  his  residence.  It  was  soon  after  taken  by 
one  Ivor  Bach,  a  Briton,  who  dwelt  in  the  moun* 
tains:  having  marched  here  privately  with  his 
party  in  the  night,  he  suddenly  surprised  the 
castle  and  carried  away  the  earl  of  Glocester, 
(a  grandson  of  Fitzhamon),  with  his  wife  and  son, 
and  detained  them  until  he  had  received  satis- 
faction  for  some  injuries  done  him.  In  1131, 
it  was  taken  by  Llewellyn's  forces,  under  Mel- 
colm  and  Rhys,  and  in  1233  by  the  earl  of 
Pembroke  for  Hjenry  III. 

As  the  castle,  &c,  declared  for  Charles  I.  it 

v;as  besieged  by  Oliver  Cromwell  in  person,  and, 


through  the  treachery  of  a  deserter,  it  surrendered 
to  him,  but  the  rascal  on  applying  for  his  reward, 
frund  Oliver  sensible  of  the  deserts  due  to  a 

•  Welsh  Chronicle, 


dastard  who  Abandons  his  cause;  and  though  he 
benefited  by  the  act,  ordered  him  to  be  immer 
diately  hanged.  The  subterraneous  passage  into 
the  garrison,  by  which  this  was  effected,  went 
under  the  Taffe,  and  a  short  time  since,  on 
the  proprietor  of  the  Inn  called  the  Cardiff 
Arms,repairing  or  enlarging  the  cellar,  the 
workmen  fell  into  what  is  supposed  to  have 
been  part  of  it. 

It  is  not  easy  to  form  a  correct  idea  of  the 

original  shape  and  figure  of  the  main  castle,  since 
k  has  undergone  considerable  alteration,  with  an 
intent  to  make  it  a  fashionable  residence,  but  the 
additions  are  so  little  in  unison  with  the  old  build- 
ing, that  its  characteristic  grandeur  is  lost  in  the 
design ;  the  present  heir  to  it  being  a  minor,  all 
reparation  and  improvements  have  been  stopped 
until  he  shall  be  of  age;  and  as  the  workmen  left 
their  labor,  so  to  this  moment  it  remains,  all  in 
dirt  and  confusion. 

There  are  several  pictures,  but  chiefly   con- 
sisting of  family  portraits  of  the  Windsor's,  and 


the  unions  by  matrimonial  alliances  to  the  Mount- 
stewart's ;  they  are  principally  painted  by  Van- 
dyke, Kneller,  and  Dahl ;  there  is  one  in  the 
break&st  parlour  displays  the  powerful  effect  of 
light  and  shadow  on  the  armour,  so  eminently 
distinguished  by  the  former  artist's  pencil,  and 
in  the  drawing-room  are  whole  lengths  of  the 
marquis  and  marchioness  of  Bute,  in  which 
Romney  has  very  happily  harmonized  his  bold- 
ness of  colouring,  by  uniting  great  affability 
with  high  dignity ;  there  is  also*  a  piece  repre- 
senting the  inside  of  the  keep,  painted  by  Ibbet- 
son,  which  has  claim  to  merit  :  in  one  of  the 
rooms  are  shown  three  balls  thrown  by  Cromwell's 
ordnance,  two  of  them  iron,  the  other  stone,  of 
about  eighteen  pounds  weight;  two  were  found 
jn  the  keep,  and  the  other  on  the  green. 

At  one  corner  of  the  green,  on  an  high  mound 
of  earth,  are  the  remains  of  the  keep,  which  is 
peculiarly  attractive  on  passing  the  entrance  gate ; 
this  building  is  of  eleven  sides,  excluding  the  cen- 
tre tower,  which  is  octagon,  and  thick  enough  to 


have  a  stair-case  and  communications  with  upper" 
apartments  for  observation  and  conveniencies,  the 
walls  are  said  to  be  continued  to  the  bottom  of 
the  mound,  and  are  so  extremely  hard  ia  the 
cement,  more  difficult  to  divide,  than  the  stones, 
which  are  of  all  sizes  :  of  this  tower,  it  was  the 
intention  of  the  late  marquis  to  have  made  a 


large  and  -elegant  single  room,  with  copper  roof, 
gnd  sky-light ;  the  whole  to  have  been  well 
finished  and  fitted  up. 

An  entrance  tower  to  the  castle  still  remain?, 
iut  whatever  we  may  admire  in  its  structure,  its 
i list ory chills  our  approbation,  and  casts  a  sorrowful 
gloom  on  the  mind;  it  is  called  the  black  tower,  9 

name  most  consonant  to  the  inhuman  stain  it  has 
endured,  and  which  time  can  never  wipe  away, 
where,  in  a  room  barely  15  feet  square,  rather 
iinder  ground,  and  with  only  a  small  crevice  near 
the  roof,  was  the  unfortunate  Robert,  the  eldest 
son  of  William  the  Conqueror,  unjustly  and  cru- 
elly confined  for  26  years,  by  the  power  of  his 
unnatural  brother,  Henry  I.  and  it  has  been  said, 
with  every  degree  of  severity,  in  addition  to  im- 

Historians  have  endeavoured  to  mitigate  the 
rigor  of  his  imprisonment,  and  it  has  even  been 
asserted  by  one,  to  be  utterly  impossible  for  any 
human  being  to  have  existed  in  the  dungeon  a 
twelvemonth  ;  therefore,  suppose  him  to  have 
enjoyed  the  whole  range  of  the  building.  Lord 
JLyttleton,  quoting  the  authorities  of  Odo  Vitalis, 
and  William  of  Malmesbury,  says,  "  Henry  made 
"  his  imprisonment  as  easy  to  him  as  possible, 
"  furnishing  him  with  an  elegant  table,  and 
"  buffoons  to  divert  him  ;  pleasures  which  for 
'•  some  years  he  had  preferred  to  all  the  duties 


"  of  sovereign  power."  Others  relate,  that  on 
attempting  to  escape,  the  prince  was  blinded,  by 
holding  a  hot  brass  bason  so  near  his  eyes,  that 
the  humours  were  dried  up,  and  the  optic  nerves 
destroyed.  Mathew  Paris  thus  relates  the  cause 
of  his  death  : 


"  It  happened  on  a  feast-day,  that  king  Henry  trying  on  a  scarlet  robe, 

"  the  hood  of  which  being  too  streight,  in  essaying  to  put  it  on  he  tore  one 

"  of  the  stitches,  whereupon  he  desired  one  of  his  attendants  to  carry  it  to 

"  his  brother,  whose  head  was  smaller;  it  having  always  been  his  custom, 

"  whenever  he  had  a  new  iobe,  to  send  one  cut  off  from  the  same  cloth  to 

"  his  brother,  with  a  polite  message.    This  garment  being  delivered  to 

"  Robert,  in  putting  it  on  he  felt  the  fraction  where  the  stitch  had  been 

"  broken,  and  through  the  negligence  of  the  taylor  not  mended ;  on  asking 

"  how  that  place  came  torn,  he  was  told  it  was  done  by  his  brother,  and 

"  the  whole  story  was  related  to  him ;  whereupon  falling  into  a  violent 

"  passion,  he  thus  exclaimed:  '  alas!  alas !  I  have  lived  too  long  !  behold 

'  my  younger  brother,  a  lazy  clerk,  who  has  supplanted  me  in  my  king- 

'  dom,  imprisoned,  and  blinded  me !  I  who  have  been  so  famous  in  arms !  ! 

'  and  now,  not  content  with  these  injuries,  he  insults  me  as  if  I  were  a 

*  beggar,  sending  me  his  cast-off  clothes,  as  for  alms !'  from  that  time 

"  he  refused  to  take  any  nourishment,  and  miserably  weeping  and  la- 

"  menting,  starved  himself  to  death  :  he  was  buried  in  Glocester  cathedral, 

"  where  his  image  as  big  as  life,  carved  in  Irish  oak,  and  painted,  is 

'*  yet  shewn." 

Contiguous  is  the  guard  room,  where  the  eye 
of  watchfulness  was  never  closed,  and  above  were 



the  apartments  for  attendants,  store  rooms,  and 
observations  :  from  this  tower,  to  the  keep  on 
the  mound,  was  a  strong  and  thick  wall,  which, 
on  pulling  down,  and  destroying  the  foundation, 
was  at  the  bottom  discovered  to  have  had  a  secret 
passage  along  the  middle  of  it,  with  flood-hatches 
and  drop-gates  :  supposed  to  have  been  a  way 
for  sallying,  or  procuring  forage.  The  whole  of 
the  surrounding  walls  and  battlements  have  been 
repaired,  and  the  walks  are  kept  in  clean  order, 
and  afford  to  the  inhabitants  of  Cardiff  an  ex- 
cellent promenade,  exhibiting  a  beautiful  and 
diversified  view  in  every  direction;  and  from 
the  eminence  at  one  corner,  a  rich  and  charm- 
ing scene  of  the  channel  and  surrounding  coun- 
try is  presented;  the  walks  are  open,  and  at  all 
hours  free  to  any  one. 

Caerphitty  is  from  Cardiff  rather  more  than 
seven  miles;  at  two  from  whence  you  keep  to 
the  right  through  newly-enclosed  grounds,  and 
on  ascending  Thorn  Hill,  a  beautiful  view  of  the 
country  you  have  passed  and  a  wide  extended 
landscape,  with  an  expanse  of  water,  enrich  the 



picture.  The  most  remarkable  peculiarity  of 
Wales  is  the  universal  practice  of  whitening  all 
their  houses,  nor  is  there  any  difference  in  this 
respect  between  the  villa  and  the  cottage  :  hence 
arises  that  lively  sensation  we  experience  in 
viewing  any  extent  of  prospect,  and  the  neat 
display  of  the  natural  beauty  of  the  country. 

In  a  fine  clear  morning,  Cardiff  appears  to 
more  advantage  from  hence,  than  elsewhere  ;  and 
the  castle,  with  its  ivy'd  walls,  forms  an  inter- 
esting object.  LandafF  also  contributes  to 
embellish  the  scene,  and  the  circumstance  of 
the  houses  being  exalted  above  the  cathedral,  is 
not  only  observable  but  a  pleasing  contrast. 

Proceeding  onward,  the  fancy  is  led  to  sup- 
pose itself  enclosed  by  mountains,  (which  is  the 
fact  in  some  degree)  from  whence  occasional  op- 
portunities occur  from  partial  openings,  of  sur- 
veying splendid  nature,  gladdened  by  the  gifts  of 
Providence  in  every  animated  form ;  nor  are  these 
huge  ridges  which  I  was  passing,  useless  to  man- 
kind ;  for  their  bowels  are  stored  with  treasure, 



.  I 


and  industry  was  exerting  her  efforts  to  attain 
it ;  the  collieries  around  were  giving  up  the 
stores  to  numerous  applicants,  and  rendered  this 
(otherwise  lonely)  tract  lively  and  amusing.  After 
ascending  two  or  three  more  hills,  Caerphilly's 
ponderous  remains  appear  in  the  bottom,  and  its 
dark  colour,  strongly  contrasted  with  the  adjoin- 
ing white  dwellings,  causes  sensations  of  delight, 
but  more  of  astonishment. 

It  is  almost  unaccountable,  that  a  fortress,  which 
for  size,  strength,  and  compactness,  whose  ruins 
even  now  discover  it  to  have  had  elegance  united 
with  utility,  and  no  doubt  can  be  entertained  but 
it  has  borne  the  brunt  of  many  a  storm,  and  a 
great  share  in  the  broils  and  troubles  of  the  prin- 
cipality, as  well  as  the  affairs  of  the  kingdom  in 
general,  should  have  so  few  records  of  its  events, 
or  who  were  its  possessors ;  in  this  we  are  embar- 
rassed by  difficulty,  and  perplexed  by  uncertainty, 
and  the  inquisitive  beholder  cannot  but  be  aston- 
ished at  the  little  information  to  be  obtained  of 
the  remains  of  a  pile  he  cannot  look  on  without 
surprise,  nor  contemplate  without  awe.  It  has 


been  thought  to  have  derived  its  origin  from  the 
Britons,  and  afterwards  to  have  been  used  as  a 
garrison  by  the  Romans  ;  founded  by  Beli  Gawr, 
a  king  of  Britain,  and  brother  to  the  Gaulish 
general  Brennus,  near  400  years  previous  to  the 
birth  of  Christ  ;  but  all  this  conjecture  must  be 
vague  and  undeterminate,  for  no  history  can  fur- 
nish any  real  information  of  its  founder,  or  the 
time  of  its  founding  :  there  have  been  stories  in 
circulation  of  its  having  been  possessed  by  Julius 
Caesar,  and  also  that  he  caused  it  to  be  the  resi- 
dence of  his  daughter,  to  preserve  her  morals 
from  being  contaminated  by  the  ill  examples  of 
his  wife,  but  a  slight  consideration  will  confute 
any  such  relation  ;  for  it  is  well  known,  that 
Julius  was  never  in  this  part  of  the  country, 
nor  were  the  Welsh  ever  subdued  till  Ostorius's 
time,  nor  in  complete  subjection  until  Agricola  ; 
therefore  it  is  highly  improbable  that  Julius 
Caesar  should  trust  his  daughter  in  an  enemy's 
country,  and  such  inveterate  ones  as  the  Welsh 
were.  It  has  borne  various  turns  of  fortune, 
according  to  the  success  or  defeat  of  the  parties 
engaged,  and  ere  gunpowder  was  invented,  must 


have  easily  withstood  the  shocks  of  warfare  for 
ages.,  and,  while  provisions  could  be  kept  within, 
would  render  abortive  all  attacks  without.  When 
possessed  by  the  turbulent  Welsh,  it  was  a  con- 
siderable impediment  to  the  British,  and  as  often 
as  it  could  by  them  be  obtained,  was  held  as  a 
check  on  the  Cambrians. 

The  whole  building,  and  erections  belonging, 
is  said  to  have  been  two  miles  in  circumference, 
with  thirteen  draw-bridges,  where  indications  of 
them  may  be  observed  on  the  north  and  west, 
and  a  wall  with  inverted  arches  is  peculiarly 
attractive.  A  round  tower  was  at  each  angle, 
and  the  one  at  N.  N.  W.  point  is  singularly  beau- 
tiful, and  demands  particular  attention  for  its 
deep  incrustation  of  ivy,  and  being  separated 
down  the  middle,  where  it  exhibits  the  four  sto~ 
ries  which  communicated  by  galleries. 

The  grand  hall  was  70  feet  by  30,  and  17  feet 
in  height,  supported  by  20  arches;  two  noble 
windows  from  the  ground  reached  the  cieling 
of  the  room,  ornamented  with  leaves  and  husks, 


with  fruit  like  balls;  the  fire-place  is  near  nine 
feet  wide,  and  high  in  proportion ;  on  one  side 
of  this  hall  are  seven  clusters  of  round  pillars, 
and  each  cluster  has  three  busts  to  support  them : 
at  the  east  end  are  door-ways  eight  feet  high, 
leading  to  a  yard  of  70  yards  by  40,  and  nearly 
in  the  middle  was  a  well.  The  whole  of  the  inte- 
rior buildings  was  surrounded  by  a  wall  of  con- 
siderable height,  and  remarkable  thickness,  with 
buttresses  and  square  towers,  all  connected  by  a 
gallery,  and  above  it  was  a  walk,  and  a  secret 
communication  contrived  within  a  wall,  where 
only  one  person  could  go  abreast :  at  the  eastern 
end  is  the  gateway,  which  contains  three  grooves 
for  portcullises ;  the  mill  was  between  the  outer 
wall  and  the  moat,  and  on  the  west  side  of  the 
stairs  is  a  low  round  place  called  the  mint  house, 
supported  by  three  pointed  arches. 

Of  the  whole  ruins,  extensive  and  cumbrous 
as  they  are,  there  is  no  part  so  truly  remarkable 
as  the  leaning  tower ;  when  we  contemplate  its 
wonderful  situation,  or  by  what  means  it  became 
so,  it  makes  the  mind  lose  itself  in  discussing-, 

and  fluctuate  in  conjecture,  as  the  top  reclines 

eleven  feet  and  a  half  over  the  base  :  the  apparent 
weakness  of  its  support,  and  that  so  mutilated, 
with  the  menacing  attitude  it  assumes,  threaten- 
ing immediate  destruction  to  whoever  should  ap- 
proach it,  render  it  an  object  of  inconceiveable 
interest,  and  is  allowed  nearly,  if  not  equally,  as 
great  a  curiosity  as  the  celebrated  leaning  tower 
of  Pisa,  in  Italy :  this  extraordinary  object  is 
divided  into  two  separate  parts,  from  the  top 
nearly  to  the  middle,  in  such  manner  that  each 


•  * 

side  hangs  over,  and  the  fissure  is  so  wide,  that 
I  walked  easily  through  it.  Having  been  informed 
that  the  best  mode  of  observing  the  effect  of  this 
astonishing  pile  was  to  lay  flat  on  the  back  close 
to  its  base,  I  was  induced  to  try,  and  it  surpassed 
my  expectation  in  grandeur  and  delight,  until 
terror  interrupted,  and  prompted  me  to  rise  in 
much  less  time  than  was  taken  to  place  myself 
in  the  position,  nor  did  I  recover  the  sensation, 
until  I  was  well  out  of  its  reach. 

In  the  opinion  of  several  persons  of  judgment, 
who  have  compared  it   with  other  castles,  this 
fortress  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  largest  in 
the  kingdom,  excepting  Windsor,  and  from  its 
vast  magnitude  and  admirable  structure,  has  been 
affirmed  by  many  to  have  been  a   Roman  gar- 
rison :  that  there  might  have  been  a  castle  on 
the  spot  is  not  unlikely,  but  there  are  no  marks 
remaining,  nor  have  coins  or  other  articles  been 
found  to  ascertain  the  certainty ;  it  may  be  re- 
marked, that  on  all  places  known  to  be  Roman, 
numberless  fragments  of  their  labour  were  accus- 
tomed to  be  stamped  with  some  peculiar  mark  to 



denote  the  constructor,  nor  were  medals  ever 
omitted  to  be  strewed  or  deposited  by  them  ;  but 
nothing  of  this  kind,  nor  even  the  smallest  ves- 
tige of  an  implement  or  utensil  has  been  hitherto 
found,  belonging  to  that  nation.  I  shall  not  enter- 
so  deeply  into  the  subject  as  to  controvert  the 
different  opinions  of  others,  or  substitute  ideas 
of  my  own  :  the  ruins  themselves  will  declare  an 
early  time,  whether  considered  as  the  remains  of 
the  original,  or  the  splendid  addition  to  an  older 
fabric.  The  earliest  accounts  I  could  find,  began 
with  Gryffyth  ap  Ivor  ap  Meurig,  lord  of  Seng- 
hennyth  (the  present  Caerphilly) ;  he  was  one  of 
the  chiefs  who  attended  Henry  II.  in  council,  to 
restore  peace  in  the  Marches.  In  the  reign  of 
John,  when  Llewellyn  had  caused  a  revolt,  and 
was  excommunicated  by  the  Pope,  he  endeavoured 
to  retain  the  interest  of  Reginald  de  Bruce,  by 
giving  his  daughter  into  the  family,  and  assigning 
to  her  husband  the  important  fortress  of  Seng- 
benayth,  now  Caerphilly. 

When  Henry  III. 'ascended  the  throne,  Regi- 
nald de  Bruce  returned  to  his  allegiance,  and 

_  Llewellyn  immediately  assaulted  Brecknock,  the 
principal  town  of  his  lordship ;  but  by  artful  con- 
trivance and  dissimulation,  Reginald  persuaded 
Llewellyn  to  raise  the  siege  of  Brecknock, 
and  restore  to  his  family  Senghennyth,  or 


Some  historians  relate,  that  when  the  barons- 
and  the  king  made  peace,  the  Welsh  princes  were 
excluded,  and  afterwards  perfidiously  turned  their 
arms  against  them ;  the  earl  of  Pembroke  violently 
acted  in  this  underhand  business,  and  made  dread- 
ful devastation  in  the  Marches,  but  Rhys  Vychan 
besieged,  took,  and  destroyed  the  important  for- 
tress of  Caerphilly,  which  had  an  English  garrison, 
and  also  other  fortresses ;  in  fine,  he  compelled  the 
enemy  to  retreat,  and  regulated  the  Cambrians  so 
us  to  defend  their  territories. 


Caerphilly  became  under  the  influence  of  the 
earr  of  Clare,  by  marrying  his  daughter  to  Rhys 
Gryg,  a  chieftain  of  great  consequence,  who 
chiefly  resided  there  as  the  principal  barrier  of 
Cambria,  since  the  destruction  of  Caerleon,  and 


from  the  stations  of  Red  Castle,  Thornhill,  and 
Tyn  Barlwn,  was  strongly  secured. 

After  the  death  of  Llewellyn,  and  the  con- 
quest of  Wales  by  Edward  I.  Rhys  submitted 
to  the  English  power;  and  Caerphilly,  or  Seng- 
hennyth,  with  all  the  hill  fortresses,  were  deli- 
vered up  to  the  earl  of  Glocester :  Edward 
afterward  visited  the  various  fortresses,  and 
particularly  ordered  Cardiff  and  Caerphilly  to 
be  repaired,  strengthened,  and  beautified, 

In  the  unfortunate  reign  of  Edward  II.  the 
Spencers  having  become  the  favourites  of  the 
monarch ;  the  king,  the  queen,  and  the  barons 
were  at  variance,  and  commotions  were  the 
consequence ;  Hugolin  Spencer  was  for  a  long 
time  besieged  in  Caerphilly  castle,  which  at 
length  surrendered  to  the  queen,  and  the 
infamous  Mortimer. 

In  Glendwr's  rebellion,  Henry  IV.  confided 
the  castle  of  Caerphilly  to  Constantia,  lady 
Despenser;  this  lady  was  afterwards  concerne4 


in  the  plot  of  endeavouring  to  raise  her  brother, 
the  duke  of  York,  to  the  throne,  and  is  said 
to  have  concerted  measures  with  Glendwr,  who 
was  to  have  taken  charge  of  the  earl  of  March, 
and  the  duke,  if  she  could  effect  their  escape 
from  captivity  at  Windsor ;  she  did  procure  their 
release,  but,  on  their  way  to  Caerphilly,  were, 
with  herself,  retaken ;  however,  she  obtained  a 
pardon,  and  was  reinstated  at  this  fortress, 

While  I  was  rambling  over  this  interesting 
pile,  and  prying  with  delight  into  every  part 
accessible  to  the  foot  of  inquisitive  research,  a 
person  of  the  place  approached,  who,  after  the 
usual  salutations,  soon  betrayed  his  province 
was  to  instruct,  and  though  it  was  youth, 
still,  information  from  a  man  of  letters  could 
not  be  refused;  nor  can  I  deny  myself  the 
satisfaction  of  verbally  detailing  what  contained 
so  much  national  preference :  '  This  castle, 
'  Sir,  is  the  oldest  in  the  kingdom,  and  cer- 

*  tainly    the    most  respectable,    for    elegance, 

*  extent,    and    fame   in   history;    various   have 

*  been  the  opinions  of  its  etymology,  but  this, 


*'  Sir,   may  :  be  depended   upon;  on  Julius   Cae- 

*  sar  making    an    attack    on    this    fabric,    he 
6  found  it  irresistible,  and  impossible  to  acquire 
f  it   by   dint  of  scientific  warfare,  he  therefore 
1  sought   other    means,    and    offered    terms   of 
f  capitulation    to    its    brave    defenders,    which 
f  was  conditionally  agreed  to,   but  the   Welsh 
'  regarding   the   loss   of   their   native   language 
'  more   than  the  loss  of  the  castle,   consented 
'  to  its  surrender,  provided  the  name  whereby 

*  it  was    in   future    to    be    called,    should    be 

*  half  in   Welsh   and   half  in   the  language   of 
'  its   conqueror,    but,    with    a  reserved   prece- 

*  dence    of    applying    the    first    word    to    it ; 
f  this   being   assented    to,    the    Welsh    named 
f  Cae?'3   signifying   a  castle ;  and  Julius  Cassar, 
c  desirous   of  making   it    the   residence  of  his 
'  daughter,   in    compliment   to   her,    named   it 

*  Jilia*      However  improbable    was    the   story, 
the  gravity  with  which  it  was  told  would  have 
induced   the   smile    which    had  been    collecting 
in   the    detail,     to     have    burst    into    a   laugh, 
had   not    the    fear    of    distressing   the   feelings 
of  another  forbidden  it.  -.  * 


At  length  I  was  warned  to  depart,  by  the 
sun  taking  its  diurnal  farewell,  and  retiring 
behind  the  mountains,  leaving  only  the  tinges 
of  its  golden  rays  to  signify  the  approach  of 
eve,  and  threaten  to  fold  me  in  its  ebon 
shade :  thus  was.  reluctantly  compelled  to  has- 
ten by  the  road  I  came  in  the  morning,  to 
place  myself  under  the  comfortable  roof  of 
Mrs.  THOMAS,  at  the  Cardiff  Arms,  an  Inn 
possessing  more  attention  and  real  comfort 
than  any  other  place  of  public  accommodation 
I  ever  met  with. 

The  dazzling  majesty  of  the  morning  sun 
peeping  in  my  window,  not  only  tempted 
me  to  rise,  and  reproached  my  slumbers,  but 
induced  me  to  take  an  earlier  farewell  of  my 
hostess  than  I  otherwise  intended. 

Pursuing  the  road  over  a  neat  bridge  of  five 
arches,  and  taking  the  first  turning  on  the 
right  hand,  at  the  distance  of  two  miles  reached 
LandafF;  a  large  forsaken  mansion  on  the  right 
throtvs  a  gloom  on  the  fancy,  by  exhibiting 


the  sorrowful  representation  of  grandeur  in  dis- 
guise, but  on  the  left  the  country  assumes  a 
distinguished  contrast,  by  the  decorations  of 
the  hills,  where  patches  of  firs  are  so  taste- 
fully disposed,  as  to  convey  the  characters  of 
elegance  and  prosperity ;  the  ivy-mantled  walls 
of  the  episcopal  castle,  desolated,  and  in  ruins, 
now  approaches  to  view,  and  gives  a  pleasing, 
though  mournful  effect ;  particularly  the  strik- 
ing remnant  of  its  large  window. 

Urbanus  the  30th,  bishop  of  the  see,  in 
11 2O,  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  founder,  at 
the  same  time  he  greatly  enlarged  the  church  ; 
but  of  this,  no  other  authority  is  stated  than 
what  might  be  grounded  from  a  relation  of 
bishop  Godwin's,  in  respect  of  LandafF;  "  the 
"  archbishop  (of  Canterbury),  the  rather  to 
<c  draw  on  the  liberality  of  men  in  contributing 
"  toward  the  building  of  the  church,  took  upon 
'•'  him  to  release  a  fourth  part  of  all  penance 
"  inflicted,  unto  such  as  should  bestow  any 
'c  thing  towards  the  same;  by  this  means  (no 
ic  doubt)  having  gathered  great  summes  of  mo- 



ney,  he  began  the  building  of  that  church, 
"  which  now  standeth,  April  14th,  1120,  and 
"  having  finished  it,  built  anew  also  all  the 
"  houses  belonging  to  it ;"  from  whence  it 
may  be  presumed,  the  palace  was  included  : 
and  Mr.  WOOTTON,  who  is  extremely  copious 
in  his  account,  also  particularly  says,  that 
Urban  built  anew  all  the  houses  belonging  to 
the  church,  "  for  himself  and  canons,"  and 
describes  the  demolition  as  follows  :  "  the 
"  bishop's  castle  stood,  before  it  was  demolished, 
"  south-east  of  the  church  :  it  was  heretofore 
"  a  very  stately  building,  if  we  may  judge  by 
"  the  gate-house,  which  is  still  remaining. 
"  It  was  destroyed  by  Owen  Glendwr,  (or 
(e  Glyndwrdwy)  who  made  great  devastation 
(l  in  this  county,  as  well  as  in  North  Wales, 
"  when  he  rose  in  arms  against  Henry  IV. 
"  there  is  a  very  high,  thick,  stone  wall  still 
"  standing,  which,  probably,  enclosed  the  cas* 
"  tie,  and  the  outhouses  that  belonged  to  it: 
"  the  scite  of  the  castle  is  now  turned  into 
"  a  garden,  which  now  belongs  to  THOMAS 


"  MATTHEW,  Esq.  of  the  court of  LandafF, 
fc  (a  house  so  called  just  adjoining)  who  is 
"  tenant  to  a  descendant  of  the  house  of 
"  Arader,  in  Ireland ;  which  family  have  been 
<e  in  possession  of  that  which  was  once  the 
"  episcopal  house,  and  the  grounds  thereunto 
(e  adjoining,  for  some  ages.''  There  are  no 
accounts  that  it  was  ever  rebuilt  since  that 
destruction,  and  Godwin,  so  long  back  as 
1601,  said,  "  that  the  episcopal  palace  at  Ma- 
ff  therne,  (vide  page  11)  was  the  only  house 
"  left  for  the  bishop  to  put  his  head  in." 

Descending  a  steep  declivity,  into  a  quiet 
and  peaceful  vale,  came  to  the  interesting  and 
beautiful  remains  of  its  ecclesiastical  pile  : 

—  the  pious  work 

"  of  names  once  famed,  now  dubious  or  forgot, 
"  and  partly  buried  midst  the  wreck  of  things.'* 

The  embellishments  bring  to  light  much  his- 
tory of  its  ancient  fame,  and  the  pleasure  in 
beholding  a  religious  pile,  though  even  in  ruins, 
cannot  but  inspire  the  mind  to  the  most 


moral    reflections,    and    awaken    sentiments    of 
eerious  awe  : 

The  best  concerted  schemes  men  lay  for  fame 
die  fast  away 

Oh  !  lamentable  sight !  at  once 

the  labour  of  whole  ages,  lumber  down 
a  hideous  and  mis-shapen  length  of  ruins. 
Sepulchral  columns  wrestle  but  in  vain 
with  all-subduing  time. 

A  finer  remnant   of  Saxon  architecture  can 


no  where  be  seen  than  in  the  south  entrance, 
demanding  attention  not  only  for  bespeaking 
the  sera  of  construction,  the  elegance  of 
orders,  and  the  graceful  decorations  of  ivy 
planted  by  the  hand  of  nature.  On  the  north 
is  a  similar  entrance,  but  divested  of  those 
pleasing  vernal  appendages,  and  all  the  walls 
unite  ornamented  neatness  to  solidity  of  ma- 
sonry. The  western  entrance  particularly 



claimed  my  attention,  by  the  -rich  display  of 
beautiful  gothic,  in  all  the  tastiness  of  its  con- 
struction; the  mouldings  of  the  arches,  and 
light  stone  pillars,  which  once  constituted  the 
division  of  its  windows,  were  beautifully  en- 
twined by  ivy  in  every  fanciful  direction,  and 
variety  of  unstudied  elegance :  over  a  lajge 
door,  in  the  centre  of  this  structure,  is  the 
representation  of  a  bishop  in  his  pontifical  habit, 
which,  by  some,  has  been  supposed  to  be 
Urban,  who  lived  in  the  reign  of  Henry  I. 
and  built  the  church,  but  is  considered  by  the 
best-informed,  to  be  intended  for  St.  Dubritius, 
who  was  the  first  bishop  of  the  see.  Over  the 
door  are  three  long  windows,  the  centre  twenty 
feet  high  and  four  feet  broad,  and  those  on 
each  side  are  sixteen  by  three;  above  them  are 
seven  niches,  the  middle  being  the  longest,  and 
the  only  open  one ;  the  remainder  diminishing 
in  regular  lengths:  above  them  in  a  recess,  is 
a  statue,  considered  to  be  designed  for  Henry 
I.  the  reigning  prince,  and  the  whole  capped 
with  an  ornamental  cross.  This  front  was  sup- 
ported by  a  tower  at  each  end  ;  the  one  (now 


only  left  in  the  record  of  'history)  was  called 
the  old  tower,  and  taken  down  in  consequence 
of  great  damage  it  sustained  by  a  storm  in 
1703;  it  contained  one  large  bell,  which  was 
exchanged  at  Exeter  for  five  smaller  ones,  and 
were  hang  in  the  present  to\ver. 

The  tower  on  the  north  side  was  also  taken 
down,  and  supplied  by  the  present  edifice,  built 
by  Jasper,  duke  of  Bedford,  in  the  reign  of 
Henry  VII.  and  retains  the  name  of  that  noble- 
man :  it  had  pinnacles  and  battlements,  which, 
were  destrpyed  by  a  storm, 

On  descending  a  few  steps  from  the  west, 
the  area  of  the  building,  not  occupied  by  the 
modern  edifice,  was  strewed  with  the  elegant 
fragments  of  pillars,  and  its  walls  pleasingly 
diversified  with  spontaneous  shrubs ;  it  is  now 
without  any  sepulchral  records ;  and  two  effi- 
gies in  alabaster,  which  display  much  ability  of 
the  artist,  (supposed  to  be  Italians,  patronized 
by  King  Henry  VIII.)  are  removed  from  thence, 
and  placed  erect  in  the  old  chapter  room. 


Here  I  must  beg  leave  to  break  off,  >  and 
seriously  lament  that  the  history  of  LandafF 
is  so  difficult  of  access;  and  indeed  only  to  be 
found  in  that  now  very  scarce  and  almost  out- 
of-print  record,  compiled  by  Mr.  Browne 
Willis.  Fearful  of  it  being  totally  lost,  and 
desirous  of  restoring  the  interesting  circum- 
stance of  the  remains  of  those  which  are 
deposited,  with  many  observations  totally  ob- 
scured, to  the  remembrance  or  tradition  of 
the  place ;  with  this  intent  I  shall  avail  my- 
self of  that  gentleman's  known  genius  and 
authority,  by  adding  it  as  an  appendix,  trust- 
ing the  interesting  extract  will  be  rewarded 
by  the  approbation  of  my  reader:  but,  previous 
to  entering  the  present  structure,  I  shall  give 
what  little  account  I  could  collect  of  the 
original  edifice. 

Of  the  antiquity  of  the  church,  it  is  re- 
ported to  have  been  first  built  by  king  Lucius, 
about  the  year  of  Christ,  180,  though  no 
account  of  bishops  previous  to  St.  Dubritius; 


and  indeed  it  is  probable  he  had  no  predeces- 
sors, because  the  memory  of  his  successors  is 
so  carefully  preserved,  and  the  chronology  of 
the  early  times  are  very  uncertain,  insomuch 
that  several  accounts  contradict  each  other ; 
some  fixing  Dubritius  to  have  been  instated 
to  the  see  by  St.  Germanus  and  St.  Lupus, 
two  French  bishops,  in  436,  who  came  over 
to  extinguish  the  Pelagian  heresy,  and  consti- 
tuted him  metropolitan  of  all  these  parts,  of 
which  he  sometimes  sat  at  Caerleon,  and  some- 
times at  LandafF.  Others  inform  us,  he  was 
not  appointed  metropolitan  till  the  year  4QO,  at 
which  time  he  was  preferred  from  LandafF,  .to 
succeed  Threminius  in  that  dignity  at  Caer- 
leon, by  the  nomination  of  Aurelius  Ambrosius, 
one  of  the  last  British  Kings;  and  being  in 
possession"  of  both  these  sees,  he  held  them  in 
commendam  till  the  year  512,  and  then  re- 
signed LandafF  to  his  disciple,  St.  Teleiau,  who 
had  been  instructed  by  him,  together  with  St. 
David,  at  a  place  called  Kentland,  near  Ross, 
in  Herefordshire. 


St.  Dubritius  is  reported  to  have  lived  to  a 
great  age,  and  to  have  been  a  bishop  above  8O 
years,  and  that  in  51Q  having  resigned  his 
archbishopric  of  Caerleon  to  St.  David,  he  re- 
tired from  the  world,  and  after  some  years 
spent  in  solitude,  departed  this  life  at  an 
island  called  Enlhie,  (now  Bardsey)  on  the  coast 
of  Caernarvonshire,  November  14,  522,  from 
whence  his  bones  were  translated  to  LandafF, 
by  Urban,  the  30th  bishop  of  this  see,  May  7, 
1120,  and  laid  before  the  high  altar. 

During  the  times  of  the  three  first  bishops, 
so  much  riches  had  been  bestowed  on  this  see, 
that  if  it  now  enjoyed  the  tenth  part  of  that 
which  it  has  been  endowed  with,  it  would  be 
one  of  the  wealthiest  churches  in  Christendom; 
though  now  it  is  said  to  be  barely  sufficient  to 
repair  itself,  and  that  divers  benefices  in  the 
diocese  yield  more  profit  to  their  incumbents, 
than  the  present  bishop  receives. 

When  Urban  was  consecrated,  he  found  his 
bishopric  in  a  very  poor  and  miserable  condi- 



• .  -'  •/  *  "'• 

tion  ;  the  church  ruined,  and  almost  to  the 
ground,  the  revenues  so  confiscated,  that  out 
of  24  canons,  they  could  scarcely  maintain 
two ;  wherefore,  explaining  to  the  king  and 
pope,  he  obtained  a  remedy,  by  procuring 
letters  to  the  clergy  and  gentry  of  the  king- 
dom, and  thus  gathered  great  sums ;  he  pulled 
down  the  old  church,  which  was  but  28  feet 
long,  15  broad,  and  2O  in  heighth,  and  began 
in  1 1 20,  the  fabric  (of  which  part  of  the  ruins 
now  remains),  and  dedicated  it  to  St.  Peter,  St. 
Dubritius,  St.  Teleiau,  and  St.  Oudoceus;  a 
work  truly  magnificent,  and  to  be  remembered 
with  honour  by  posterity  ;  and  in  addition  to 
this  magnificence,  built  also  the  houses  for  him- 
self and  canons ;  after  which  he  proceeded  to 
recover  the  lands  which  had  been  alienated  from 
the  see,  and  the  jurisdiction  of  places  some 
neighbouring  bishops  had  usurped;  but  in  fol- 
lowing those  pursuits,  he  died  on  a  journey  to 
Rome,  in  the  year  1133. 

It   seems,   some   of  them  were  seized  by  the 
Normans,    lOQI,    and    notwithstanding    Urbarr*s 


endeavours,  this  see  hath  never  recovered  itself; 
and  bishop  Kitchen,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII. 
greatly  impoverished  it,  by  setting  or  leasing  out 
on  long  leases,  almost  all  the  lands  belonging 
to  it,  insomuch  as  to  have  nearly  ruined  it ;  and 
bishop  Blethen  is  stated  lo  have  still  more  les- 
sened its  revenues,  in  order  to  provide  for  his 
children,  by  selling  and  alienating  lands  belong- 
ing to  it :  and  in  Cromwell's  rebellion,  more 
lands  were  sold,  for  the  sum  of  37 7 5/.  3s.  &d. 
besides  material  injury  being  done  to  the  edifice 
by  the  contending  parties. 

On  the  death  of  the  organist,  in  1692,  the 
choir  service  was  put  down,  and  has  been  dis- 
continued ever  since;  and  in  1705,  or  170(5,  the 
roof  fell  in,  and  thus  despoiled  us  of  the  ori- 
ginal beauty  this  edifice,  no  doubt,  was  replete 
with:  to  this  church  there  was  a  library,  which, 
in  all  probability,  contained  valuable  records, 
but  in  the  civil  wars  was  dispersed  by  the 
rebels,  and,  according  to  Browne  Willis,  part 
of  it  burned,  with  a  number  of  Common  Prayer 
Books,  at  Cardiff,  whither  the  cavaliers  of  the 


country,  and  the  wives  of  several  clergymen, 
were  invited  to  the  castle,  on  a  cold  win- 
ter's day,  to  warm  themselves  by  the  fire, 
which  was  then  made  of  the  books. 

The  sequestered  and  delightful  situation  of 
the  church  is  well  calculated  to  inspire  devo- 
tion, and  rendered  truly  sublime,  by  being  en- 
closed within  the  walls  of  the  ancient  struc- 
ture, composed  of  the  elegant  and  ornamented 
fragments  of  the  former  architecture :  never 
did  I  witness  an  edifice  kept  in  such  an  uni- 
form, praise-worthy,  and  commendable  neatness  ; 
and  was  it  possible  to  increase  the  praise  of 
its  respectable  and  venerable  residentiary,  it 
would  be  added  on  this  occasion. 

We  enter  this  solemn  pile  by  ascending  a 
few  steps  out  of  the  ruins  of  the  old  one, 
when  its  lightness,  plainness,  and  somewhat 
remarkable  singularity,  must  be  striking  to 
every  one.  We  are  not  here,  as  in  other  build- 
ings of  this  kind,  attracted  by  a  multiplicity 
of  columns,  or  bewildered  by  the  profusion  of 


ornament,  or  numerous  monumental  records  of 
departed  mortals;  there  are  but  few,  and  those 
must  be  carefully  searched  for.  The  choir  is 
enclosed,  and  occupies  the  space  of  the  great 
aisle,  containing  12  stalls,  with  the  addition  of 
thrones  for  the  bishop  and  archdeacon ;  two 
pulpits,  one  of  them  decorated  with  mitres,  in 
which  the  bishop  preaches,  and  the  altar  is 
raised  on  five  steps,  over  which  is  the  repre- 
sentation of  a  temple,  supported  by  pillars. 
The  choir,  though  rather  unbecomingly  heavy 
in  its  ornaments,  is  singularly  pleasing  for  the 
assistance  it  gives  to  the  voice,  rendering  the 
modulations  so  musically  distinct. 

I  now  went  to  the  west  end  of  the  north 
aisle,  by  observing  several  ancient  and  curious 
monuments,  but  containing  very  few  scriptrai 
memorials  :  a  flat  stone  first  presents  itselfj 
now  without  any  inscription,  which,  perhaps, 
was  obliterated  by  the  frequent  research  of 
grateful  memory :  another  in  this  humble  pos- 
ture, and  presumed  (by  the  emblems  on  it) 
to  be  the  safeguard  of  the,  deposited  remains 


of  episcopal  dignity.  Two  effigies  on  a  raised 
pedestal,  in  pontifical  habits,  are  recording  the 
memories  of  St.  Dubritius,  and  bishop  Brum- 
field,  with  the  pastoral  staff,  mitres,  &c.  Of 
the  first,  there  is  scarce  any  further  knowledge, 
than,  that  being  bishop  of  this  see,  and  living 
to  a  great  age,  he  resigned  his  dignity  to  St. 
Teleiau,  anno  5J2,  after  enjoying  the  same 
above  8O  years  ;  he  died  at  Bardsey,  in  522, 
and  his  bones  were  translated  here  by  Urban, 
on  his  repairing  this  edifice.  Bishop  Brumfield, 
S.  T.  P.  a  monk  of  St.  Edmondsbury,  abbot  of 
the  monastery  of  Silva  #%'or,  in  the  diocese  of 
Bourdeaux,  and  master  of  the  divinity  school 
in  the  pope's  palace,  a  very  learned  man, 
though  of  a  pragmatical  humour,  obtained  this 
see  by  papal  provision,  and  received  the  tem- 
poralities on  December  the  17th,  138Q;  after 
jie  had  scarce  enjoyed  it  two  years,  he  died, 
anno  1391,  and  was  buried  in  his  own  cathe- 
dral. Above  this  tomb  is  a  sculpture  in  relievo, 
affixed  to  the  wall,  representing  the  crucifixion, 
with  all  the  instruments  employed  on  that 
solemn  occasion,  emblematical  of  the  faith  in 


which  these  persons  died  :  there  is  something 
so  striking,  as  well  as  singular,  in  the  device, 
as  naturally  to  fix  our  thoughts  to  the  grand 
subject  it  displays ;  nor  can  our  adoration  be 
raised  too  high,  when  we  consider  the  cause, 
the  scheme,  and  the  effects,  of  that  meritorious 
proof  of  divine  charity :  a  serious  contemplation 
on  every  one  single  article  here  exhibited,  must 
lead  the  mind  to  devotion,  and  endeavour  to 
establish  maxims  of  morality  never  to  be  swerved 
from  during  our  existence  in  this  sublunary 
state ;  impressed  for  ever  should  these  me- 
mentos be  upon  the  heart,  guarding  it  '  from 
temptation,  and  inferior  delight  of  worldly  en- 
joyments ;  then  might  we  be  better  enabled  to 
meet  the  irrevocable  decree  passed  on  us,  and 
fasten  with  more  certainty  on  that  hope,  which 
alone  can  cheer  us  in  the  great  conflict  of 

On  the  opposite  side,  in  a  gothic  niched 
recess  in  the  wall,  is  the  effigy  of  bishop  Danes, 
5*.  T.  P.  in  his  episcopal  robes,  who  had  been 
archdeacon  of  the  church,  and  elected  to  this 

see  July  2Q,  1667,  confirmed  the  23d,  and 
consecrated  the  24th  of  August ;  he  died,  March 
34,  1674,  and  was  buried  in  this  cathedral:  he 
founded  a  library  here,  and  presented  it  with 
many  of  the  fathers,  from  the  second  to  the 
eighth  century,  and  several  other  works ;  above 
this  are  also  emblems  of  crucifixion  in  a  shield : 
beyond  these,  in  another  recess  of  the  same 
form,  is  the  figure  of  a  skeleton,  done  upwards 
of  50O  years  since,  and  designed  to  perpetuate 
the  memory  of  an  unfortunate  female,  who  pined 
herself  away,  and  fell  a  victim  to  that  passion 
nature  gifted  to  render  mortals  most  happy  ; 
poor  neglected  girl!  !  this  monument  is  artfully 
contrived  to  awaken  sensibility,  by  the  forcible 
manner  it  displays  itself,  not  boldly  discover- 
ing the  whole  formation  at  once,  but  ingeni- 
ously withdrawing  a  part  of  the  shroud,  and 
disclosing  only  sufficient  to  shew  of  what 
nature  and  transformation  the  departed  being 
is  become.  No  longer  the  blooming  object 
which  created  pleasure  not  only  to  those  around, 
but  in  remembrance  of  the  distant ;  could  ye 
now  emerge  from  the  enclosing  tomb,  what 


awe  wouldst  thou  inspire  tb  ~  those  who  once 
neglected  thee  !  thy  delicacy,  which  could  not 
bind  on  earth,  would  rivet  with  unutterable 
surprise,  in  your  exchanged  form  !  disengaged 
from  all  attachment,  ye  could  now  give  instruc- 
tive lessons  of  the  instability  of  earthly  beauty, 
and  moderate  the  impulse  of  mankind,  tb 
acquire  charms,  lasting  only  with  existence, 
mortify  the  appetite  for  conceived  personal 
elegance,  and  shew  how  corroding  is  the  cover- 
ing of  death.  Ambition  here  may  learn,  how 
vain  and  unstable  are  all  the  acquirements  of 
wealth,  grandeur,  and  fame :  this,  the  return 
for  thy  adoring  heart,  from  the  faithless  or 
impenetrable  object  of  thy  misplaced  affection, 
whose  inhumanity  hath  forced  thee  to  the  bit- 
terness of  death,  in  the  bitterest  shape!  !  and 
ignorance,  or  insensibility,  consigned  to  the 
tomb,  youth,  beauty,  and  affection !  Look  on 
this,  ye  survivors,  nor  add  more  trophies  of 
dissembling  or  carelessness:  this  is  a  monument 
for  the  gay  and  thoughtless,  the  healthful  aiid 
strong,  an  exchange  for  what  was  amiable  and 
lovely,  inviting,  and  endearing;  go,  disappointed 


virgin,  and  though  thy  sun  of  life  was  clouded 
by  affliction,  receive  that  rest  appointed  for  the 
virtuous,  and  enjoy  felicity  superior  to  thy 
desires,  and  lasting  as  eternity. 

On  the  same  side,  raised  on  a  high,  or- 
namented tombr  is  represented  a  knight  in 
armour,  with  his  head  resting  on  an  open  hel- 
met, crested  with  a  headless  bird,  his  feet 
resting  on  a  crouching  lion;  the  whole  in 
alabaster,  displaying  a  good  specimen  of  sculp- 
ture, to  commemorate  Christopher  Matthews,  a 
character  distinguished  by  his  illustrious  acts 
of  valour,  and  amazing  strength ;  he  was  in 
stature  six  feet  two  inches  high,  and  was  killed 
in  the  civil  wars. 

In  a  recess  opposite,  are  two  figures,  con- 
sidered to  be  David  Matthews  and  wife;  he  is 
represented  in  armour,  and  his  lady  by  his  side, 
both  in  alabaster ;  these  effigies,  and  the  orna- 
ments about  them,  display  great  taste  in  the 
execution,  and  are  remarkable  for  the  delicacy 
and  elegance  with  which  the  female  drapery  is 


delineated :    beneath    them  is   an   inscription    in 
ancient  characters. 

Passing  through  a  small  chapel,  at  the  east 
end,  divided  by  the  altar  of  the  choir,  which 
breadth  this  chapel  occupies,  (and  is  appropriated 
to  the  performance  of  service  in  Welsh) ;  here 
are  deposited  the  remains  of  bishop  John  de 
Monmouth,  doctor  in  divinity,  chancellor  of 
Oxford,  prebendary  of  Milton,  in  the  church  of 
Lincoln,  nominated  to  this  see  in  March,  12Q4  ; 
though,  on  account  of  the  death  of  the  pope, 
he  did  not  receive  consecration  until  February 
10,  1296,  after  which  he  had  the  temporalities 
restored  him  April  4th  following;  he  was  a 
great  benefactor  to  his  church,  and  in  all 
respects  a  good  governor  thereof,  as  may  be 
seen  in  Fuller's  Worthies  in  Monmouthshire,  where 
he  was  born  in  the  town  of  Monmouth,  and  so 
surnamed  ;  he  procured  the  parsonage  of  Neiv- 
land,  in  the  county  of  Glocester,  which  one  of 
his  predecessors  obtained  from  the  bishopric  of 
Hereford,  to  be  appropriated  to  his  see,  and  did 
several  other  good  acts  ;  he  died  on  the  8th  of 

ril)  1323,   which  was   recorded  in  a   French 
inscription,  long  since  worn  out  and  defaced. 

At  the  north-east   corner  of  the  south  aisle, 
in  a  recess,  is  a  monument  to   Christiana  Aud- 
ley,  a  character  distinguished  not   only   for  her 
bequest   of  the  great  and   little   heaths    to   the 
poor  of  Landaff,  Roach,  and  Whitechurch,  but 
for   a   valuable   life;    it    presents   proofs   of  the 
ability  of  the   artist,  by  the  superior  workman- 
ship   which:  adorns   it,    exhibited  in    alabaster, 
whose  spotless  white  tints  the  innocence  of  her 
life,  «and   seems  to  exhibit  an  emblematical  trait 
of  the   character  it  commemorates ;  the   surface 
smooth,  as  was  her  amiable  disposition,  without 
ostentation,    yet    fully    grand,    displaying    those 
lustres  herself  exhibited ;  but  when  monumental 
records   are  mouldering   to   the    dust,    thy  me^ 
moiy  will   live   in   the   grateful   hearts  of  those 
who   feel  the  value  of  thy  generous  donations ; 
actions  which  require  no   other  mode  of  infor- 
mation  to  posterity,  than   in   the   persons   who 
realize   the  benefits   thereof:  beyond   them,   lie 
p  Pascal,  who  died  October  11,  1301,  at 


his   episcopal   palace,   at   Bishton;  and   William 
de  Breuse,   consecrated    1265,  and   died   March 
19,  1286 — 7  following;  these  are  very    humble 
stones,   with    inscriptions   so    defaced   as   to   be 
scarcely   legible ;    no   cost,    or   expensive   deco- 
ration, added  to  tell  survivors  any  thing  beyond 
mediocrity,  and   that  so  worn,  perhaps  by   fre- 
quent  resort   of  affection   or   tenderness,    as   to 
make   the   stone   appear  unfaithful   of  retaining 
its  charge  ;  no  doubt  they  have  most  frequently 
enlivened   the   associated   circle,    and    gladdened 
the  hearts  of  the  more  unhappy,  sacrificed  their 
wishes   to   the  good  of  others,    and  eloquently 
pourtrayed    the   charming   counsels  of  the  vir- 
tuous, to  the  growing  generation  set  forth  the 
example  of  piety,  beneficence,  and  worth.    Here 
are  all   which   can   now    be  known ;    and   may 
their   merits  have  been  sufficient  to  waft  their 
souls  to  happiness-  unsullied,  and  joys  unspeak- 

The  old  chapter-room  .exhibits  interesting 
antiquity  in  its  construction,  being  supported 
by  only  one  pillar  in  the  centre,  with  springing 


gothic  arches ;  in  it  are  the  two  monuments 
before  spoken  of,  brought  from  the  west  en- 
trance, of  Sir  William  Matthews  and  his  lady. 

After  having  had  all  the  monuments  pointed 
out  to  me,  I  was  desirous  of  inspecting  them 
more  accurately ;  my  guide  being  under  the 
necessity  of  attending  to  his  own  avocation,  left 
me ;  pleased  with  the  idea  of  spending  a  few 
moments  under  its  sacred  roof,  I  locked  myself 
in,  to  indulge  the  meditations  so  mournfully 
pleasing  to  a  sorrowful  mind:  never  had  I  been 
in  a  situation  so  awfully  retired,  which  gave 
every  object  a  grave  and  serious  air ;  the  pro- 
found silence  that  reigned,  added  solemnity  to 
the  scene,  and  inspired  a  religious  dread,  while 
wandering  over  the  hallowed  spot  strewed  with 
the  departed,  gave,  though  a  silent,  a  solemn 

It  were  wise  to  be  frequent  in  such  situ- 
ations as  would  turn  our  attention  from  the 
multiplicity  of  frivolous  objects  with  which  we 
are  surrounded,  to  contemplate  our  more  im- 


portant  state  as  regarding  a  future  existence  ; 
neither  would  it  betray  a  disposition  to  be 
deemed  austere,  by  encouraging  thoughts  of  so 
momentous  a  change  as  we  are  certain  at  one 
time  or  other  we  must  undergo.  Placed,  as  I 
was,  amidst  the  relics  of  departed  beings,  and 
susceptible  of  their  eloquent  (though  inactive) 
instructions,  I  more  deeply  felt  the  insigni- 
ficance of  my  present  state,  if  viewed  only  in 
an  earthly  light ;  convinced  by  those  around, 
how  transitory,  weak,  and  futile,  were  all 
attempts  to  attain  a  lasting  satisfaction  in  our 
present  sphere,  or  by  the  work  of  our  own. 
hands  to  gain  a  solidness  of  glory  without 

By  retirement  from  the  noise  of  the  busy 
throng  (and  that  often  is  the  only  mode  to 
set  us  right  in  our  imaginations,  and  to  re- 
strain evils  which  pour  upon  us  in  every 
direction,  and  from  every  circumstance)  we 
should  be  roused  from  the  slumber  of  care- 
lessness, and  invigorated  to  an  exertion  for  the 
attainment  of  superior  qualifications,  and  open 


to  ourselves  an  understanding  to  guide  us  in 
a  path  leading  to  a  life  unfading  and  unspot- 
ted. Existence  can  be  only  delightful  so  far 
as  we  are  satisfied:  how  wretched  then  must 
that  mortal  be  who  trusts  only  to  the  fleeting 
enjoyments  of  the  moment,  when  he  considers, 
that  with  them  he  must  perish ;  with  them  be 
soon  in  oblivion  ?  For  those  reasons  it  behoves 
us  to  turn  our  ideas  to  scenes  like  these 
surrounding  me,  and  listen  to  the  senti- 
ments they  so  forcibly  dispense  to  an  attentive 
observer ;  telling  us,  in  language  too  plain  to 
be  misunderstood,  to  conduct  ourselves  in  such 
manner,  and  to  value  our  acquisitions,  as  the 
better  enabling  us  to  perform  our  respective 
parts  with  that  propriety,  as  tp  look  with 
pleasure  on  our  past  hours,  and  with  tranquil 
ease,  to  reflect  on  those  moments  which 
are  to  convey  us  to  another  and  unceasing 

On  one  side  of  me,  I  perceived  in  similitude 
an  emblem  of  corruption,*   a  picture  of  faded 

*  The  skeleton. 


mortality,  an  end  of  fancied  pleasure ;  proving 
the  liability  of  our  destruction,  even  from  the 
want  of  fulfilling  our  imaginary  satisfactions : 
distended,  motionless,  and  incapable  of  percep- 
tion ;  no  faculty  of  power  remaining ;  a  sem- 
blance of  utter  destruction.  Could  this  be  the 
intent  of  our  sojourning  here  ?  Could  this  be 
the  desire  of  our  Creator  —  the  finish  to  his 
performance  ?  The  resemblance*  at  once  denies 
it,  and  shew  us  that  we  are  valuable  in  esti- 
mation, and  the  proud  production  for  superior 
advancement ;  and  to  accomplish  the  important 
task  of  raising  our  frail  bodies  to  invaluable 
glory,  was  the  still  more  glorious  condescension 
of  his  unspeakable  beneficence,  whose  sufferings 
none  can  tell;  and 

"  If  Angels  tremble,  'tis  at  such  a  sight ;" 

A  sight  which  must  awaken  all  our  horrors 
for  the  circumstances  which  occasioned  it,  and 
gratitude  for  the  reinstatement  of  our  favour, 
by  the  strict  observance  of  the  duties  to  acquire 
it ;  never  could  our  consequence  be  more  plainly 

f  The  trophies  of  the  Resurrection  and  Ascension  of  Christ, 


set  forth  than  by  the  affection  shewn  to  pre- 
serve us;  a  proof  of  future  honours  for  which 
we  are  now  only  to  prepare,  and  the  forfeiture 
of  them  so  great  an  injury  to  ourselves  as 
nothing  could  restore,  but  the  agonies  of  an 
ignominious  death  of  even  the  Lord  of  our 
life:  with  what  veneration  then  ought  we  not 
to  contemplate  this  subject,  and  bow  with 
humble  adoration  for  the  means  opened,  and 
the  advantages  offered  unto  us  by  such  a  won- 
derful instance  of  favour  and  .  charity  !  how 
insignificant  are  we,  taken  as  a  worldly  object, 
how  poor  and  contemptible  are  our  efforts  or 
power,  how  mean  and  abject  our  pretensions, 
how  divested  of  qualification  to  presume  on  our 
own  sufficiency  to  procure  a  share  of  felicity, 
when  nothing  less  than  so  astonishing  an  atone- 
ment should  be  able  to  give  us  any  prospect  of 
a  release  from  those  chains  our  perverseness  had 
rivetted !  But  whilst  we  are  attracted  by "  the 
gaieties  of  the  world,  and  the  allurements  of 
amusements  and  dissipation,  we  can  neither 
form  our  minds,  or  allow  the  thought  of  a 
future  state,  in  any  forcible  degree,  to  withdraw 


the  attentions  from  the  infatuating  principle 
which  we  so  falsely  call  pleasure ;  but  should 
any  private  or  domestic  distress  happen  within 
the  pale  of  our  concerns,  for  a  moment  it  cre- 
ates a  sensation  of  apprehensions,  and  confuses 
our  ideas  rather  than  lessens  the  calamity ;  and 
with  returning  quietness  so  also  returns  that 
exclusion  of  moral  sentiments  so  highly  preju- 
dicial to  the  well  regulating  of  our  manners  ; 
but  even  should  affliction  hold  with  constant 
grasp  on  our  frame,  still  the  mind,  by  its  sus- 
ceptibility of  uneasiness,  is  rendered  unfit  for  a 
proper  meditation  on  so  sublime  a  theme ;  how 
careful  then  should  we  be  occasionally  to  throw 
off  the  attire  of  mortality,  and  whilst  in  the 
enjoyment  of  all  our  faculties,  turn  to  the 
repository  of  the  dead,  and  hold  converse  with 
corruption ;  of  such  importance  is  it,  that  it 
cannot  fail  of  giving  us  a  true  portrait  of  our- 
selves, and  of  the  vanity  of  other,  pursuits  which 
do  not  tend  to  •  the  promoting  not  only  our 
welfare  in  this,  but  superlative  blessings,  lasting 
as  glorious  in  the  future  translation  :  it  will 
teach  us  that,  perishing  as  pur  frames  appear, 



there  is  yet  a  way  whereby  to  attain,  and  a 
hold  whereby  to  fix,  which  will  never  desert 
us,  but  joyfully  present  as  a  testimony  of  love 
which  cannot  be  refused,  and  of  mercy  which 
cannot  be  overthrown,  all  this  procured  by  that 
inestimable  sacrifice,  (which  is  now  represented 
before  me)  by  which  the  redemption  of  fallen 
man  is  procured — and  eternal  pardon  sealed  to 
those  who  profess  with  undeviating  faith  the 
merits  of  the  intercession,  and  reliance  on  the 
power  of  that  blood  shed  so  profusely  for  our 
iniquities  ;  a  stain  not  greater  than  could 
be  obliterated,  but  too  great  to  be  otherwise 
cleansed  than  by  the  means  taken  so  benefi- 
cently for  us.  May  this  impressive  matter  be 
so  affixed  to  my  heart,  that  my  future  endea- 
vours shall  be  only  such  as  will  more  closely 
confirm  the  maxims  set  for  us  to  follow,  to 
acquire  that  profusion  of  blessing  promised  only 
to  the  deserving !  And  oh  ye  sacred  remnants 
of  departed  popularity,  over  whose  bones  I  now 
tread,  may  your  convincing  arguments  strike 
deep  to  my  heart,  and  be  the  cause  of  more 
frequent  visits  to  similar  companions^  from  whom 


lessons  of  wisdom  are  numerous,  and  the  truths 
ye  display  unanswerable  !  Let  it  be  the  hap- 
piest moment  of  my  life  that  hearkened  to  the 
instructions  ye  gave,  and  be  proved  by  the 
constancy  of  my  endeavours  to  retain  the  prin- 
ciples imbibed,  till  that  dread  moment  shall 
arrive  in  which  I  shall  be  summoned  to  join 
you  ! 

I  cannot  retire  from  this  edifice  without 
remarking,  that  whatever  imperfections  there 

may  be  in   the  regularity  of  its   structure,  it  is 

/  .*•"' 

amply  compensated  by  its  neatness;  indeed  this 

is  so  particularly  attended  to,  as  not  only  to 
render  it  truly  impressive,  but  to  inspire  the 
mind  with  sentiments  suitable  to  the  purpose 
for  which  the  building  was  intended. 

After  leaving  the  church  with  an  impression  of 
melancholy,  yet  of  pleasure,  not  only  caused 
by  visiting  the  asylum  of  departed  virtues, 
but  by  wandering  over  ruins  that  picture  the 
escutcheon  of  destroying  time,  I  was  awakened 
from  my  contemplation  by  the  appearance  of  a 


woman  busied  among  the  graves :  on  approach- 
ing unobserved,  I  soon  perceived  it  was  nature 
in  distress;  she  was  on  her  knees,  looking 
pathetically  on  a  little  earthy  hillock,  enamelled 
with  flowers,  and  surrounded  by  a  narrow  grass 
border,  which  she  was  carefully  weeding; — now 
her  eyes  were  directed  up  to  heaven,  then  on 
the  grave,  and  shaking  her  head,  when  a  deep  sigh 
waved  these  little  vegetable  records  which  were 
profusely  watered  by  her  tributes  of  unfeigned 
sorrow.  Her  grief  interested  my  feelings,  I 
could  no  longer  resist  enquiring  for  her  tale 
of  woe :  she  told  me,  it  was  the  peaceful 
remains  of  her  only  child !  !  unfolded  with 
such  simplicity,  with  a  voice  so  much  in  the 
tone  of  distress,  and  with  actions  so  truly  the 
types  of  affliction,  that  I  was  obliged  (with- 
out being  able  to  say  I  pitied  her  situation) 
to  conceal  myself  among  the  ruins,  fearful 
of  being  reproached  with  a  weakness  in 
which  nature  could  only  find  relief;  there  I 
silently  reviewed  this  testimony  of  affection, 
and  earnestly  entreated,  that  whenever  it 
pleased  heaven  to  take  from  me  life,  there 


might  be  one  remembering  friend  to  visit  the 
humble  spot  and  mark  the  repository  of  my 
ashes,  by  so  expressive,  tender,  and  pleasing 
an  office. 

The  town  of  Landaff  is  small,  and  the  exam- 
ple exhibited  by  its  ecclesiastical  edifice,  has 
become  a  proselyte  to  the  pattern  of  its  neat- 
ness :  no  sooner  had  I  taken  my  farewell  of 
this  place,  than  the  river  Taffe  presented  itself; 
the  beauty  of  its  varied  shores  was  pleasingly 
harmonized,  by  the  breadth  and  transparency 
of  its  murmuring  stream ;  passing  over  it  by  a 
bridge  of  two  arches,  at  the  distance  of  two 
miles  to  the  left,  through  a  country  replete 
with  objects  to  render  scenery  interesting,  and 
delightfully  pleasing  by  the  Countenances  of  the 
inhabitants  so  expressive  of  happiness;  the 
canal  became  my  close  companion,  and  the 
river  I  had  lately  left,  was  winding  through 
the  vale  in  fanciful  directions,  to  i^ake  it 
most  agreeable  to  the  eye;  its  b  jun •*  ies  com- 
prised every  charming  assemblage  of  pleasing 
variety,  in  which  the  united  effort  of  nature 


and  art  were  most  tastefully  displayed :  the 
opposite  hill  was  beautifully  clothed  with  cop- 
pice wood,  that  gave  it  a  forest-like  appearance, 
and  rendered  it  doubly  interesting  by  the 
situation  of  Mr.  Lewis's  iron-works,  and  the 
many  residences  of  those  who  are  there  em- 
ployed ;  the  attention  now  became  particularly 
engaged  on  a  castellated  ruin,  which  though  it 


bore  the  evidence  of  great  decline,  was  marked 
with  the  character  of  ancient  splendour;  its 
walls  were  partially  veiled  by  a  mantling  of 
ivy,  and  placed  midway  down  the  mountain's 
side,  its  rear  was  so  thickly  overshadowed  with 
embowering  trees,  as  to  deny  the  rays  of  the 
sun  to  penetrate ;  while  in  other  parts  you 
observe  masses  of  limestone,  embellished  with 
timber,  finding  subsistence  from  the  crevices  of 
its  rocks :  a  workman  being  employed  at  the 
lime-kilns  below  it,  (who  I  was  delighted  to 
find  understood  sufficient  English  to  be  sensible 
to  my  request,)  induced  me  to  enquire  of 
him  the  name  of  the  castle,  and  if  any  history, 
traditional  or  otherwise,  was  related  to  it ;  but 
here  the  unaccommodating  disposition  of  one 
of  the  lowest  order  of  the  people,  in  denying 
a  stranger  the  least  information,  put  my  humor 
to  the  test,  and  had  an  oath  been  pardonable, 
it  would  have  claimed  privilege  on  this  morti- 
fying occasion.  ( What  is  the  name  of  the 
'  castle  ?'  '  Dim  saesoneg.' — f  Is  there  any  his- 
'  tory  of  it?'  6  Dim  saesoneg?  • — (  How  far  to 
'  Pont-y-pridd  ?'  (  Dim  saesoneg.''  —  '  Where 


'  does  the  canal  go  to  ?'  '  Dim  saesoneg? — 
Determined  to  put  a  still  simpler  question, 
asked  him  the  name  of  his  national  river  which 
was  rolling  at  our  feet  ?  *  Dim  saesoneg*.  This 
perverseness  I  must  acknowledge  provoked  me 
to  be  personal,  and  in  hasty  terms,  applied  a 
name  derived  from  the  river,  gracefully  mean- 
dring  in  sight,  which  fired  the  Cambrian  to 
such  a  degree,  that  the  Briton  and  Saxon  had 
nearly  got  to  blows. 

This  castle  is  named  Castle-coch,  and  sup- 
posed to  have  been  erected  to  defend  the .  pass 
of  the  river,  though  its  situation  is  certainly 
ill  judged,  on  account  of  the  hill  which  com- 
mands it :  the  access  is  difficult,  not  only  from 
its  stupendous  height,  and  being  overgrown  with 
bushes,  but  the  barrier  of  loose  stones  (which 
once  composed  a  part  of  its  fabric)  is  now 
formed  as  a  wall;  and,  strange  to  relate,  every 
step  appeared  to  have  been  taken  to  impede  an 
explorer :  the  interior  presented  one  series  of 
desolation;  and  though  there  is  a  pleasure  in 
wandering  over  a  mouldering  pile,  the  gloomy 


monument  of  departed  fame,  robbed,  it  of  the 
usual  gratification,  and  excited  a  solemnity : 
trees  and  shrubs  became  the  residents  of  its 
courts,  and  its  ruined  walls  were  obstructed 
from  the  eye  by  a  darkening  veil  of  ivy,  that 
rendered  it  difficult,  from  its  dilapidated  state, 
to  trace  its  former  extent.  The  magnificence 
of  its  front  is  peculiarly  attractive,  and  serves 
to  throw  a  light  on  its  former  fame ;  but  on 
researching  this  noble  remain,  I.  was  amply 
rewarded,  and.  pleasure  resumed  its  gratification, 
by  a  view  from  its  large  broken  window  pre- 
senting such  a  variety  of  countless  charms, 
beyond  the  reach  of  description  or  delineation: 
the  scene  was  diversified  in  every  fanciful  form 
that  embraces  the  most  pleasing  features  of  land- 
scape, adorned  with  a  river  winding  through  a 
rich  and  high  cultivated  tract,  ornamented  with 
a  view  of  Cardiff,  Landaff,  and  numerous  other 
interesting  objects,  until  it  reached  the  broad 
expanse  of  the  Bristol  channel,  the  whole 
forming  a  charming  assemblage  of  choice  and 
variegated  beauties  ;  there  is  scarcely  any 
knowledge  to  be  gained  of  this  place;  but  some 


relate  a  story  somehow  connected  with  it,,  that 
when  Jestyn-ap-Gwrgwn,  a  prince  of  Glamor- 
ganshire, lived  at  Cardiff  castle,  Castle-coch  (or 
the  red  castle)  was  inhabited  by  a  petty  prince, 
named  Ivor  Bach,  (or  little  Ivor,  a  short,  reso- 
lute man),  a  mutual  love  having  been  formed 
with  one  of  Jestyn's  daughters,  he  applied  to 
her  parents  for  consent,  which  was  refused ; 
Ivor  justly  considering  that  life  is  undesirable 
if  separated  from  the  object  of  love,  collected 
a  chosen  band,  stormed  Cardiff  castle,  and 
carried  off  his  prize ;  the  enraged  father  pur- 
sued, but  soon  afterwards  consented  to  the 
union.  Ivor  Bach  was  a  descendant  and  the 
last  of  the-  kings  of  Baycheinog,  he  was  slain 
in  battle  in  a  valley  called  after  him,  Pant- 
coed-Ivor,  or  the  valley  of  Ivor's  army, 


Turning  down  a  narrow  lane,  immediately 
opposite  to  a  wear,  which  was  transversely 
stretching  across  the  stream  of  the  Taffe  to 
turn  the  water  to  Mr.  Lewis's  forge,  I  found 
the  remains  of  the  once  celebrated  TafFe's 

.well;    it  is  a  mineral  spring,   and  said    to    be 


strongly  impregnated  with  iron,  issuing  through 
an  immense  bed  of  that  ore,  which  runs  in 
the  direction  under  the  river,  and  of  very 
considerable  extent  :  the  situation  was  truly 
romantic,  in  a  peaceful  vale,  enclosed  by  lofty 
boundaries,  ornamented  with  hanging  woods, 
contrasting  a  variety  of  hues,  and  the  mean- 
dering Taffe  roaring  as  it  rolled  along  in 
agitated  haste, 

The  spring  was  formerly  enclosed,  and  its 
original  construction  had  unfted  considerable 
strength  to  a  good  display  of  masonry ;  but 
the  irresistible  force  of  the  winter  floods  (for 
want  of  proper  attention)  had  caused  a  chasm 
nearly  to  the  bottom,  and  promises  eventually 
to  leave  no  vestige  of  a  barrier  sufficient  to 
confine  a  body  of  water  to  be  the  least  ser- 
viceable. It  is  reported  to  possess  the  infallible 
property  of  curing  the  most  inveterate  rheu- 
matism, and  innumerable  cures  are  said  to  have 
been  acquired  by  the  efficacy  of  the  water, 
which  I  heard  from  many  people  of  the 
country :  the  brightness  of  the  day  gave  me 

TT  j       . 


an  opportunity  of  distinctly  observing  several 
powerful  springs  rising  from  the  bottom  of 
the  well,  at  the  depth  of  three  feet,  keeping 
the  sand  in  perpetual  playful  motion  ;  and 
often  would  a  column  of  water  rush  with  such 
considerable  force  as  to  exceed  the  limits  of 
its  surface,  continuing  for  the  space  of  a 
minute  or  two,  and  would  return  in  irre-r 
gular  periods  of  three,  four,  and  nearly  five 
minutes;  numerous  bubbles  were  disseminating 
through  the  whole,  and  often  a  column  of 
air  would  rush  *  with  great  noise ;  the  water 
which  was  escaping  was  very  abundant,  and 
had  incrusted  the  stones  it  passed  over  to 
resemble  corroded  gravel  ;  it  was  beautifully 
transparent,  much  warmer  than  the  Taffe,  and 
very  grateful  to  the  palate ;  it  is  totally  un- 
heard of  in  the  page  of  history,  and  its  virtues 
preserved  only  in  the  tradition  of  the  country, 
of  which  numerous  instances  were  related  to 
to  me  of  its  success.  I  have  been  thus  parti- 
cular, with  a  hope  that  some  gentleman  versed 
in  chemistry  will  be  induced  to  analyse  and 
elucidate  its  properties,  as  its  renown  might 


i   • 
still  be  rescued,  by  which  he  would  meet  with 

the  reward  of  rendering  a  peculiar  kindness  to 
society,  and  administer  a  charm,  equalled  by 
no  other  gratification,  of  making  others  happy. 

While  I  was  thus  perplexing  my  mind  to 
account  for  the  singular  and  astonishing  effect 
of  the  well,  my  reverie  was  interrupted  by  a 
girl,  appearing  about  16,  supported  on  one  side 
by  a  crutch,  and  the  other  by  a  venerable 
female  friend;  the  girl  was  attired,  as  is  usual 
in  this  part  of  the  principality,  in  a  little 
beaver  hat  similar  to  those  worn  by  men,  a 
neat  plaited  mob  cap  was  tied  under  her  chin, 
and  over  a  blue  jacket  a  whittle  was  substi- 
tuted for  a  cloak,  and  thrown  gracefully  over 
her  shoulders ;  the  form  of  her  face  had  been 
round,  but  illness  and  a  marked  melancholy, 
though  they  had  changed  the  form,  could  not 
conceal  the  vestiges  of  beauty ;  her  manners 
were  wonderfully  soft,  and  her  voice  so  musi- 
cally sweet,  that  I  could  not  help  listening 
with  uncommon  attention  to  the  detail  of  her 
misfortunes :  her  aged  guide  expatiated  on  the 


numerous  cures  performed  by  the  efficacy  of 
its  water,  and  lamented  the  rich  did  not  con- 
tribute to  give  health  and  comfort  to  others  ; 
but  its  dilapidated  state,  allowing  the  water  of 
the  river  often  to  mingle  with  the  contents  of 
the  well,  was  a  circumstance  of  the  deepest 
regret  to  her  and  the  country,  as  by  it  the 
water  was  rendered  less  efficacious ;  f  Yes,  Sir,' 
rejoined  her  young  charge,  (  I  should  have 
6  been  cured  before  this;'  and  detailed  her 
visitation  of  Providence  with  so  simple  a  grace 
and  earnestness,  looking  significantly  at  the 
well,  that  I  never  felt  the  loss  of  fortune  so 
severely  as  at  that  moment,  to  reflect  I  was 
incapable  of  repairing  its  structure  :  the  relation 
of  her  sorrow  not  only  excited  the  emotions 
which  had  agitated  her  mind,  to  make  them 
tremble  in  her  eye  but  to  quiver  on  her  lips ; 
this  induced  me  to  use  all  the  rhetoric  I  was 
master  of,  not  only  to  dispel  the  cloud  of 
dejection,  but  to  impress  on  her  mind  a  resto- 
ration of  health  as  certain;  it  had  the  most 
wished-for  effect,  and  a  pleasure  was  moment- 
arily gathering  on  that  face  which  appeared  to 


have  been  a  stranger   to   a  smile  for  a  length 

of  time  ;   after  a  lengthened  attentive  look  on 

the  well,   as  if  she  read   an  assurance   of  my 

prediction ;  she  raised  her  eyes  until   they  met 

mine,   then  on  the  well,  —  then  on  me,  —  and 

thus  kept  alternately  changing  the  object   with 

a   visible   pleasure   playing  on  her  countenance. 

It  now  became  time  to  depart,  and  again  on 

assuring  her  of  a  restoration,  told  her  I   little 

doubted,   when  visiting    the    country  again    to 

hear  my  wishes  realised,  and   that   perhaps  her 

children  would  unite  in  offering  up  their  praise^ 

for  the    recovery;   the   very    idea  abridged  the 

native  innocence  of  her  .tongue  from  taking  leave, 

but   the   conscious   eloquence    of   her   inpcjesty 

bade  me  farewell,  by  the  expression  of  a  blush. 

The  road  continuing  by  the  path  of  the 
canal,  its  placid  face  formed  a  happy  contrast 
to  the  impetuous  river  which  was  breaking 
over  the  distorted  rocky  impediments  which 
filled  its  bed,  and  winding  through  the  centre  of 
the  vale,  whose  boundaries  were  lofty,  clothed 
with  wood,  tastefully  intersected  by  innumeiv 

A  a 


able  lines  as  the  vernal  divisions  of  inclosures. 
At  the  Bridgewater  Arms  I  took  up  my 
abode,  as  it  appeared  so  much  the  residence 
of  rural  nature ;  this  house,  though  not  fore- 
most in  comforts,  must  have  precedence  for 
eggs,  bacon,  and  civility ;  the  country  now 
presents  a  different  feature  ;  quarries  of  large 
fiat  stones  and  white  slate  are  numerous,  as 
are  coal  and-  iron  works:  turning  down  a  lane 
beyond  Mr.  CRAWSHAW'S  new  forge,  the  beau- 
tiful structure  of  Pont-y-Pridd  bursts  on  the 


sight,  placed  in  such  a  situation  as  to  be 
completely  concealed  until  a  very  near  approach, 
when  the  delight  and  surprize  to  see  so  light 
and  beautiful  a  structure  bending  over  so  im- 
mense a  stream,  makes  language  too  poor  for 
its  description ;  the  torrent  is  seen  stealing  from 
behind  a  fertile  and  well  cultivated  hill,  pleas- 
ingly diversified  with  wood ;  *on  the  left  a 
lofty  hill  displays  mountain  scenery,  with  the 
summit  covered  with  fern  or  russet  herbage, 
except  where  stratas  of  quarry  had  excluded 
all  vegetation,  and  midway  down  the  side  is  a 
thick  covering  of  trees  surrounding  a  little  cot- 
tage, and  a  distant  view  of  a  rich  fertilized 
country  peeping  under  the  arch,  united  to 
combine  every  thing  that  was  pleasing ;  but 
with  all  the  delight  of  these  contrasting  scenes, 
the  eye  was  scarcely  allowed  leisure  to  gaze  by 
the  elegant  structure  which  was  striding  across 
a  furious  stream,  and  never  could  I  have  been 
satisfied,  nor  should  I  have  so  hastily  left  it,  had 
not  the  collecting  water  from  the  deluge  which 
in  the  course  of  the  night,  not  only  set 


limits  to  my  delighted  fancy,  but  warned  me 
to  depart  by  hastily  accumulating,  and  encircling 
the  little  hill  I  stood  on.  An  attempt  to 
describe  the  beauties  surrounding  this  remark- 
able proof  of  a  man's  native  genius,  must  fall 
far  short  of  the  reality,  the  object  itself  chal- 
lenging every  work  of  the  kind  to  surpass,  or 
even  to  equal ;  the  chord  of  it  is  140  feet, 
from  a  diameter  of  175  ;  its  height  is  35,  and 
notwithstanding  the  apparent  lightness  and  sim- 
plicity, has  hitherto  braved  the  utmost  fury  of 
the  ungovernable  stream  ever  since  1756,  and 
continues  likely  to  remain  as  firm,  so  long  as 
care  is  taken  of  it.  Such  an  assemblage  of 
art  and  nature  it  was  difficult  for  me  to  quit, 
and  shall  take  the  opportunity  of  informing  my 
readers,  that  this  structure  owes  its  rise  to 
accidents,  and  persevering  endeavours  to  coun- 
teract them. 

The  hundreds  of  Miskin  and  Senghennyth 
contracted  with  William  Edwards,  a  Welsh 
common  mason,  to  erect  a  brido-e  of  four 



arches,  for  which  he  was  to  have  ^500. 
and  ensure  its  duration  for  seven  years ;  this 
failed  in  less  than  two,  from  the  furious  tor- 
rent which  overwhelmed  it ;  in  consequence  he 
was  necessitated  to  rebuild,  according  to  his 
bond ;  his  next  scheme  was  a  single  arch  to 
be  of  sufficient  width  to  permit  the  free  run  of 
the  river  without  impediment,  and  to  defy  any 
of  the  usual  floods  from  destroying  his  labour: 
he  met  with  some  difficulty  in  gaining  the 
approbation  of  his  sureties,  who  conceived  the 
scheme  to  be  romantic  and  impracticable ;  however 
he  gained  his  point  to  attempt  it,  and  when 
nearly  completed,  his  timber  supports  gave  way, 
and  all  fell  down:  undaunted  by  this  accident, 
he  persevered  with  stronger  assistances,  on, 
finishing  a  single-arched  bridge,  but  he  soon 
after  found  he  had  fresh  occasion  for  his  inven- 
tive genius,  as,  owing  to  the  thinness  of  the 
crown  of  the  arch,  the  heavy  abutments  forced 
it  upwards,  and  again  destroyed  his  perform- 
ance, but  his  merits  appeared  so  fully  to  the 
Lords  Talbot  and  Windsor,  that  they  generously 


assisted  his  enterprising  spirit  in  a  fresh  attempt 
to  retain  his  design  of  a  single  arch,  and  on 
lightening  the  very  great  pressure  of  the  abut- 
ment by  the  contrivance  of  three  tunnels  on 
each  side  of  the  centre ;  he  fully  accomplished 
his  ideas,  and  has  left  to  the  world  a  specimen 
of  uncommon  singularity,  beauty,  utility,  and 
solidity,  which  has  withstood  the  united  force 
of  tempests,  torrents,  &c.  for  46  years  past,  as 
a  stone  in  the  centre  informs  us,  <c  William 

Edwards,    1756.''     A   person  of  taste    will    be 

?          ^ 

fascinated  by  the  survey  of  it  and  its  neigh- 
bouring scenery,  and  I  know  not  that  a  spot 
so  well  chosen  could  be  found  to  embellish  a 
work  of  such  a  nature ;  the  whole  forming  so 
grand  an  appearance  as  must  be  always  pleasing 
and  unceasingly  gratifying. 

Observing  a  stream  apparently  of  no  incon- 
siderable consequence,  and  tributary  to  the 
Taffe,  I  was  induced,  to  approach  it,  when  I 
perceived  a  plain  neat  structure  across  the  river 
Rhonda,  by  two  arches,  the  banks  thickly 


shaded  with  woo4?  and  the  distant  country  en- 
riched with  high  cultivation ;  the  river  appeared 
to  be  emergirg  from  a  thick  wood,  and  bathing 
a  fisherman's  cottage,  stationed  in  the  most 
convenient  ma...  r  for  its  master's  avocations, 
it  then  became  separated  by  rude  impediments, 
and  as  it  approached  the  bridge,  softened  into 
rippling  streams  from  the  ridges  of  pebbles, 
pursuing  a  rural  road  embowered  with  trees, 
through  occasional  openings  of  which  the  river 
would  present  itself,  dashing  and  roaring  over 


mishapen  rocks,  fringed  with  mosses  of  the 
deepest  hue:  at  the  distance  of  two  miles 
Berw  Rhonda  appears;  the  £ataracL_ contracted 

by  nature  rushes  with  irresistible  force,  and 
forms  a  cascade  enveloped  in  white  foam ;  the 
opposite  confine  of  the  river  is  an  abrupt 
bank,  thickly  covered  with  wild  shrubs  and 


trees  springing  from  the  interstices  of  the  rock, 
where  a  seed  has  been  by  chance  dropped,  and 
cherished  by  the  soil  contained  in  it :  here  I 
enjoyed  some  pleasant  fishing,  though  the  trout 
are  very  small,  but  from  the  large  tablets  of 
stone  that  had  obtruded  themselves  into  the 
stream,  gave  me  a  fine  opportunity  of  throw- 
ing my  line  with  the  greatest  precision. 

On  returning  by  the  road  I  came,  a  narrow 
wooden  foot-bridge  bestrided  the  enraged  tor- 
rent; the  agitation  it  was  in,  and  the  gloominess 
of  the  trees  that  overshadowed  it,  filled  my 
mind  with  a  terror  mingled  with  delight,  and 
the  fineness  of  the  evening  tempted  me  to 
sit  down,  when  the  distant  murmuring  of  the 
cataract  I  had  left,  was  most  agreeably  har- 
monized by  the  softer  notes  of  various  babbling 

Leaving  the  Bridgewater  Arms,  continued  by 
the  side  of  the  canal  for  about  a  mile  and  an 
half,  to  see  the  famous  fall  and  salmon  leap, 

B  b 

182       x 

called  Bervv  Riske,  on  the  Taffe,  which  is  at  the 
foot  of  the  mountain,  seen  in  the  view  from 
Pont-y-Pridd.  Pursuing  a  winding,  treacherous 
path,  the  roar  not  only  kept  measuring  the  dis- 
tance, but  warned  me  what  I  might  expect ; 
but  very  much  was  that  expectation  out-done 
on  arriving  at  the  cascade;  it  is  of  enchanting 
beauty,  and  its  grand  current,  divided  by  a  few 
rocky  projections,  made  its  fall  more  tremen- 
dous, and  stunned  the  ear  by  the  peal  of  its 
thundering  down  j  from  the  craggy  interstices 
of  the  bank,  a  few  stately  trees  had  taken 
root,  whose  hanging  heads  and  extended  arms 
were  not  only  waved,  but  the  pendant  branches 
were  endeavouring  to  soothe  the  angry  torrent 
by  sweeping  its  furious  surface ;  there  were  not 
any  salmon  attempting  to  stem  the  impetuous 
stream  while  I  was  there,  which  my  guide 
expressed  as  surprising,  though  he  acknow- 
ledged, from  the  fullness  of  the  river,  few 

could  succeed ;    the  fall   of  it  was   at   least    1 5 


feet,  and  on  a  projecting  fragment  the  fisher- 
man stands  with  a  sharp  hook  at  the  end  of 
a  pole,  which  (when  the  fish  leaps)  with  great 


dexterity    he    scarcely     ever    fails    of    striking 
into   it. 

Returning  to  the  road,  the  country  displayed 
a  variety  of  mountain  scenery,  and  the  -sin^ 
gular  effect  of  16  locks  of  the  canal  rising 
above  each  other  as  a  flight  of  steps,  the 
canal  passing  over  the  impetuous  river  by 
means  of  an  aqueduct,  and  the  mill  taking  the 
advantage  of  a  tributary  brook,  are  features  of 
no  inconsiderable  gratification :  turning  to  the 
left,  at  the  Quaker's  burying  ground,  and 
ascending  the  lofty  eminence  on  the  right, 
presents  an  exuberant  mantle  of  wood,  the 
iron  dram,  or  rail-road,  is  in  view,  which 
extends  from  Merthyr  to  the  canal  navigation 
house,  where  it  is  seen  curving  in  obedient 
windings  to  the  formation  of  the  hills,  whose 
side  it  is  travelling  by  ;  here  I  had  manifest 
proof  -of  the  inventive  faculty  of  man,  and 
persevering  assiduity  to  surmount  the  obstacles 
lying  in  the  way  of  his  pursuits ;  it  is  aston- 
ishing to  what  lengths  the  unceasing  propen- 


sity  to  acquire  facility,  to  undertakings,  be  it 
in  whatever»  profession  it  may,  will  carry  the 
labours  and  contrivances,  and  the  expenditure 
of  property,  to  create  conveniences.  Indeed 
the  great  spirit  of  enterprise  seems  unabated 
throughout  the  whole  country ;  nor  are  bounds 
set  to  any  undertaking  that  appears  to  have 
a  chance  of  success ;  although  matters  to  a 
common  observer  seem  unsurmountable  in  every 
direction,  difficulties  are  but  little  thought  of, 
and  the  strong  arm  of  labour  surmounts  the 
whole  :  when  we  consider  the  efforts  to  be  used, 
and  the  property  expended  in  the  construction 
of  an  iron  rail  road,  for  the  purpose  alone  of 
conveying  the  goods  from  the  manufactories 
to  the  canals  or  river,  we  are  led  to  wonder 
that  such  extensive  means  are  employed  to 
apparently  so  little  purpose,  or  that  ever  a 
remuneration  could  be  made  to  either  projec- 
tors or  proprietors  ;  and  great  indeed  must  be 
the  quantum  of  matter  sent  forth  •  from  the 
works  to  enable  the  owners  to  reimburse  them- 
selves, and  encourage  such  undertakings* 


To  be  properly  convinced  of  the  magni- 
ficence of  these  schemes,  requires  personal 
observation  ;  for  description  must  fail  of  mag- 
nitude, .although  prolix  in  the  display:  it  will 
not  be  amiss  to  give  some  idea  of  the  per- 
formance, which,  although  I  closely  surveyed, 
and  had  described  to  me  by  parties  employed 
thereon,  I  conceive  there  cannot  be  so  correct 
an  account  as  related  by  an  Author*,  in  every 
respect  qualified  to  gratify  the  most  curious, 
and  content  the  most  scrupulous;  and  although 
the  description  is  in  reference  to  another  place, 
and  in  another  county,  still  from  the  similarity 
of  all  works  of  this  nature  one  will  serve 
for  the  whole.  I  shall  therefore  abide  by  his 
words  :— * 

"  A  rail  road  is  so  called,  because  it  is  formed  by  a  kind  of  frame 
(f  with  iron  rails,  or  bars  laid  lengthways,  and  fastened  or  cramped  by 
"  means  of  cross  bars ;  the  ground  being  excavated,  about  six  feet  in 
«  breadth,  and  two  in  depth,  is  strewed  over  with  broken  pieces  of 
"  stone,  and  the  frame  laid  down ;  it  is  composed  of  rails,  sleepers,  or 
*f  cross  bars  and  under  sleepers,  the  rail  is  a  bar  of  oast  iron,  four  feet  in 
"  length,  three  inches  thick,  and  one  and  a  half  broad,  its  extremities 
*.'  are  respectively  concave  and  convex,  or  in  other  words,  are  morticed 

*  Mr,  Coxe, 


"  and  tenanted  into  each  other,  and  fastened  at  the  end  by  two  wooden 
*{  pegs  to  a  cross  bar  called  a  sleeper;  this  sleeper  was  originally  of  iron, 
"  but  experience  ha- ing  shewn  that  iron  was  liable  to  snap  or  bend,  it 
"  is  now  mad  of  wood,  which  is  considerably  cheaper,  and  requires  less 
"  repair ;  under  each  extremity  of  the  sleeper  is  a  square  piece  of  wood, 
"  called  the  under  sleeper,  to  which  it  is  attached  by  a  peg :  the  frame 
"  being  thus  laid  down,  and  filled  with  stones,  gravel,  and  earth,  the 
"  iron  rails  form  a  ridge  above  the  surface,  over  which  the  wheels  of 
"  the  cars  glide,  by  means  of  iron  grooved  rims  three  inches  and  a  half 
"  broad;  this  is  the  general  structure  of  the  road  when  carried  in  a  straight 
"  line ;  at  the  junction  of  two  roads,  and  to  facilitate  the  passage  of  two 
"  cars  in  opposite  directions,  moveable  rails,  called  turn-rails,  are  occa- 
"  sionally  used,  which  are  fastened  with  screws  instead  of  pegs,  and  may 
"  be  pushed  side-ways.  The  level  of  the  ground  is  taken  with  great 
"•  exactness,  and  the  declivity  in  general  so  gentle  a«  to  be  almost  imper.r 
"  ceptible,  the  perpendicular  fall  of  the  ground  being  no  more  than  one 
"  inch  in  a  yard,  and  scarcely  ever  more  than  three ;  the  road  sometimes 
"  conveyed  in  a  straight  line,  sometimes  winding  round  the  sides  of 
"  precipices  is  a  picturesque  object,  and  the  cars  filled  with  coals  or  iron, 
"  and  gliding  along  occasionally  without  horses,  impress  the  traveller  who 
**  is  unaccustomed  to  such  spectacles,  with  pleasing  astonishment :  the 
"  expence  of  forming  these  roads  is  very  considerable,  varying  according 
"  to  the  nature  of  the  ground,  and  the  difficulty  of  procuring  proper  ma- 
"  terials,  it  is  seldom  less  than  ./looo.  per  mile,  and  sometimes  exceeds 
"  that  sum;  the  cars  from  the  solidity  of  their  structure,  and  the  quantity 
**  of  iron  used  in  the  axle-tree  and  wheels,  when  loaded  weigh  not  less 
"  than  three  tons  and  a  half ;  they  are  drawn  by  a  single  horse,  and  the 
"  driver  stands  on  a  kind  of  foot-board  behind,  and  can  instantaneously 
«  stop  the  car  by  means  of  a  lever  and  a  drop,  which  falls  between  the 
"  wheels  and  suspends  their  motion  ;  in  places  where  the  declivity  is  more 
"  rapid  than  usual,  the  horse  is  taken  out,  and  the  car  impelled 
«  by  its  own  weight," 

Tliis  is  part  of  a  country  where  the  spirit  of 
industry  seems  to  meet  with  the  success  it 
deserves,  and  is  plainly  perceptible  among  the 
numerous  iron  forges,  coal  mines,  &c.  which 
are  in  establishment,  and  by  new  erections  for 
the  same  purpose ;  the  country  now  gave  evi 
dences  of  increased  and  increasing  population, 
by  the  valley  being  sprinkled  with  villages  and 
numerouss  edifices  :  before  I  reached  Merthyr, 
it  was  no  longer  in  repose,  but  all  a  scene  of 
active  employ,  and  often  would  a  car  emerge 
from  a  subterraneous  world,  through  a  chasm 
so  small  as  not  to  be  observed  until  very  near 
it,  and  columns  of  dark  smoke  were  rising  in 
every  direction. 

Passing  Mr.  HILL'S  works,  the  ear  is  first 
assailed  by  massive  hammers,  and  the  roar  of 
furnaces.  I  soon  reached  Merthyr  Tydfil,  where 
the  river  appeared  choaked  with  the  scoriae  of 
iron  ore,  so  baneful  to  fish :  —  with  truth  it 
may  be  said,  no  place  in  the  kingdom  has  had 
so  rapid  an  increase  of  trade  and  population  in 
the  same  number  of  years*;  here  were  objects 


to  me  new,  striking,  and  in  part  wonderful, 
and  afforded  an  opportunity  of  observing  what 
the  abilities  of  man  could  be  master  of,  by  the 
application  of  property,  and  by  perseverance ; 
the  whole  district,  and  the  neighbouring  hills, 
abound  with  food  for  the  employment,  and 
literally  give  bread  to  thousands  of  artificers 
in  the  service  of  the  works  of  Clyfartha, 
Dowlais,  Plymouth,  and  Pen-y-Darran  ;  the  ap- 
pearance of  them  create  an  idea  of  the  gloomy 
mansions  of  Pluto's  inhabitants  existing  amidst 
volcanoes,  breathing  fire  and  smoke,  and  whose 
flames  serve  only  to  add  to  their  enjoyment. 

I  first  visited  the  works  of  Mr.  HUMPHREYS^ 
the  civility  of  that  gentleman  not  only  allowed 
me  the  privilege  of  inspecting,  but  sent  an 
intelligent  person  to  point  out  the  different 
processes,  which,  did  I  attempt  to  describe 
minutely,  I  should  only  do  injustice  to  the 
task,  and  betray  my  own  inability ;  from  the 
native  advantage  of  the  place,  the  coke  is 
here  burned,  and  the  iron-stone  and  lime  cal- 
cined, which  unites  by  adding  one-third  of  the 

latter   to  two-thirds  of  the  former;  it  is  then 

submitted    into    the  fineries,    and    melted    into 

pigs,  then  to  the  puddling  furnace,  and  formed 

into  lumps  by  ponderous   hammers,  after  which 

from  the  blooming  furnace,  it  is,   by   cylinders, 

rolled    into    bars,   when    it    again   undergoes   a 

process  called   finishing,    previous    to   its    being 

sent    away;    and    the   forming    the    horse-shoe 

by   means  of  a   mould,    is  a  further  proof    of 

immeasurable  genius.       The   machinery   of  this 

gentlemante  works  is   put  in   motion  principally 

by   steam,    and    all    must   be   acknowledged  to 

be  regulated  with  extreme  order  and  neatness. 

I  now  went  to  the  works  of  Mr.  CRAW  SHAY, 
whose  politeness  and  hospitality  to  me,  did  I 
forget  to  acknowledge,  would  be  a  lasting 
reproach,  from  such  extreme  civility  offered  to 
a  total  stranger.  The  works  of  this  gentleman 
are  on  the  like  process,  but  on  a  more  en- 
larged scale  than  the  one  I  had  just  left,, 
employing,  as  I  understood,  of  men,  women, 
and  children,  near  POUR  THOUSAND  ;  the  coun- 
tenances of  those  engaged  about  the  furnaces, 

c  c 


portrayed  the  ill  effects  of  their  dreadful  vo- 
cations; and  the  sooty  legions  so  disfigured  by 
smoke,,  pictured  more  the  looks  of  infernals  than 
human  beings. 

I  can  never  erase .  from  my  recollection  the 
impression  caused  when  the  beautiful  iron  over- 
shot wheel  came  kfirst  in  view ;  it  is  allowed 
to  be  the  largest  in  the  world,  being  no  less 
than  5O  feet  in  diameter,  and  six  in  breadth ; 
the  various  mechanism  attendant  on  it  is  beau- 
tifully connected,  and  seems  to  move  with 
conscious  grace;  the  escaping  water  shaded  all 
in  mist  by  its  spray,  and  the  body  having 
performed  its  office  forms  afterward  a  fine 
cascade;  it  is  called  Eolus,  and  furnishes  breath 
for  four  bloomeries  and  four  fineries ;  the 
water  which  turns  it  is  conveyed  from  the 
hills  nearly  five  miles  distant,  across  the  TafFe, 
and  forms  a  double  aqueduct,  elevated  above 
the  bed  of  the  river  60  or  70  feet,  supported 
for  near  30O  yards,  part  by  stone  pillars,  and 
the  remainder  by  wood  and  iron.  The  appa- 
rent lightness  of  the  whole,  contrasted  with 


the  massy  boundary  of  the  river,  has  not  only 
a  singular,  but  a  very  interesting  and  pleasing 
appearance.  I  cannot  conclude  without  saying, 
that  an  admirer  of  human  achievement  would 
be  gratified  for  coming  from  any  distance  to 
visit  this  monument  of  genius  erected  to  the 
memory  of  its  enterprising  proprietor,  and  a 
deserving  artist :  it  should  also  be  observed^ 
that  the  whole  rests  on  gudgeons  of  10O 
tons,  and  that  it  is  the  constant  province  of 
one  man  to  apply  sufficient  grease  to  avoid  the 
danger  of  fire  arising  from  friction ;  and  his 
peculiar  situation  at  different  times  in  the 
performance  is  remarkable,  , 

The  different  works  in  this  place  are  com- 
puted to  consume  245  tons  of  coal  in  a  day^ 
and  to  complete  (on  an  average)  253  tons  of 
iron  per  week.  It  is  highly  advantageous  to 
some  of  the  works  that  the  coal,  the  ore* 
and  lime  are  within  100  yards  of  each  other; 
thus  avoiding  a  considerable  expence  which  is 
attached  to  many  works  of  similar  kind  in 
the  country,  of  having  some  portion  of  their 
materials  to  bring  from  far :  and  to  add  still 


to  the  convenience  of  Merthyr  was  the  canal 
(I  so  long  came  on  the  borders  of)  con- 
structed, and  is  reported  to  have  cost  the 
proprietors  ^120,000.  expended  in  order  to 
convev,  in  conjunction  with  other  commo-' 
dities,  the  produce  of  their  labor  to  Cardiff 
with  more  ease  and  greater  certainty  for  the 
shipping  of  various  parts. 

Merthyr,  situated  between  the  hills,  has  a 
singular  effect,  if  seen  from  any  of  them 
during  the  night,  when  the  various  fires  and 
blastings  from  the  furnaces,  with  the  incessant 
din  of  hammers,  wheels,  mills,  and  water,  adds 
to  the  awful  effect.  As  to  the  healthfulness 
of  this  place,  I  cannot  form  any  flattering 
conclusions,  when  it  is  considered  what  clouds 
of  smoke  arise  from  the  works :  'it  is  suffi- 
ciently populous  to  afford  two  market-days  in 
a  week,  and  four  fairs  in  the  year;  and  the 
number  of  inhabitants  is  to  a  certainty  more 
than  1O,000 ;  and  while  the  contiguous  parts 
are  so  productive  as  to  keep  the  manufactories 
in  employ,  the  place  will  rather  increase  than 

After  leaving  Merthyr  a  few  miles,  I  entered 
Brecknockshire ;  for  some  distance  the  country 
was  thickly  strewed  with  rude  stones  that 
usurped  the  province  of  vegetation;  on  the 
right  an  Upright  rock  towered  its  head  into  a 
cloud,  when  the  vale  through  which  the  Taffe 
was  gliding  was  glittering  by  the  gilded  rays  of 
the  sun  ;  the  face  of  this  terrific  mass  wag 
bedecked  with  wild  vegetation,  flowers,  and 
patches  of  sportive  ivy;  and  chasms  were  nou- 
rishing the  roots  of  shrubs,  which  appeared  to 
triumph  in  this  unmolested  situation.  The 
face  of  day  considerably  changed,  and  darken- 
ing clouds  were  gathering  from  every  quarter ; 
the  atmosphere  became  in  sable  tint,  and  I  was 
soon  driven  by  the  pitiless  storm  to  seek  shel- 
ter at  the  half-way  house,  a  very  humble  pile 
indeed,  and  appearing  to  be  raised  for  the 
residence  of  undisturbed  solitude;  but  the  study 
to  please  made  me  forget  that  any  thing 
beyond  common  comforts  were  superfluous : 
neither  the  good  old  woman  or  her  handmaid 
could  speak  English,  nor  I  the  dialect  of  their 
country;  however  with  various  actions  of  dumb 


shew,  I  had  all  my  wants  supplied :  on  the 
storm  being  appeased,  and  the  face  of  heaven 
resuming  its  wonted  serenity,  pursued  my  jour- 
ney ;  the  country  now  became  poor  in  trees, 
and  the  steep  barren  mountains  were  spotted 
with  sheep  picking  a  scanty  subsistence ;  the 
sides  of  this  range  of  lofty  hills  were  grooved 
by  the  power  of  winter  torrents,  whose  numer- 
ous tributary  streams  account  for  the  hasty  rise 
of  the  river  ;  here  passing  over  a  small  bridge, 
I  took  leave  of  the  river  which  had  been  my 
companion  for  upwards  of  4O  miles,  no  longer  of 
consequence  to  set  limits  to  my  admiration,  but 
dwindled  into  a  trifling  brook  only  a  few  feet 
wide,  and  retiring  to  the  right,  is  lost  among 
the  mountains  where  it  receives  its  origin. 

I  had  scarcely  left  my  late  companion,  when 
I  became  interested  in  observing  the  sources  of 
the  river  Tarrant :  small  bubbling  springs  with 
scarcely  strength  to  run  were  rising  by  the  side 
of  the  road,  but  the  numerous  assemblage  of 
them  rapidly  increased  in  size,  and  the  moun- 
tains assumed  the  same  appearance  of  being 


worn  by  winter  torrents.  I  could  not  but 
observe  and  admire  the  attention  that  is  here 
paid  to  keep  the  ,mile  stones  regular  and 
perfectly  intelligible ;  a  circumstance  which 
is  disgracefully  neglected  in  many  parts  of 
England.  The  Tarrant  had  now  enlarged  itself 
to  a  considerable  stream,  and  assisted  to 
embellish  the  country,  which  became  more 
and  more  improving  in  beauty  the  nearer  I 
approached  to  Brecon ;  on  reaching  the  bridge, 
the  venerable  castle  presents  itself,  at  whose 
feet  the  transparent  Usk  was  rolling ;  the 

town  is  of  considerable  size,  and  replete  with 
conveniencies  of  every  description,  most  agree- 
ably situated  on  an  eminence,  which  gives  it 
an  advantage  for  pleasing  scenery  to  be  ob- 
served from  most  parts  of  it ;  this  has  been 
important  ground  for  many  ages,  and  has 
afforded  ite  share  in  the  pleasures  and  toils  of 
different  parties.  Its  various  ruins,  of  as  various 
buildings,  are  monuments  of  its  original  con- 
sequence, and  frequent  sufferings ;  it  is  now 
large  and  populous,  and  not  unhandsome ;  has 
three  principal  streets,  and  among  them  several 
houses  more  elegant  than  is  usual  in  such 
distant  towns.  The  remains  of  the  priory 
exhibit  a  considerable  share  of  old  gothic 
workmanship,  and  the  church  belonging  to 
it  still  appropriated  for  public  worship ;  its 
situation  is  somewhat  gloomy,  but  the  con- 
sideration of  its  original  purpose  and  present 
employment  rather  adds  a  solemnity  to  it  than 

In  the    neighbourhood    are    the    remains    of 
the    castle,    which    has,    as    usual,    been    the 



contested  object  and  refuge  of  various  parties ; 
but  its  greatest  peculiarity  is  on  account  of 
the  settlement  between  the  duke  of  Bucking- 
ham and  the  bishop  of  Ely,  for  the  resto- 
ration of  the  Lancastrian  line  to  the  throne  of 
England,  which  was  here  successfully  managed, 
and  in  the  end  completed;  but  it  should  have 
been  previously  observed,  that  the  bishop  was 
a  prisoner  of  the  duke's  at  the  time  of  the 
scheme  originating.  The  history  of  this  place 
can  be  brought  into  a  small  compass  in  respect 
of  events,  of  which  I  shall  not  be  prolix.  Of 
the  early  date  of  Brecknock  it  is  related,  that 

The  men  of  Brecknock  are  said  to  have 
slain  Ithol,  the  53d  king  of  Gwent,  in  846. 

After  the  Danes  were  defeated  by  Alfred, 
they  passed  the  Severn  and  spoiled  Breck- 
nock in  896. 

Bernard  de  Newmarch  took  possession  of  the 
province  of  Brecknock  after  a  conquest,  which 

D  d 


he  was  permitted  to  achieve  after  the  success 
of  Fitzhamon,  and  the  death  of  Rhys-ap- 
Tewdor,  in  the  time  of  Henry  I.  he  is  sup- 
posed to  have  founded  the  castle. 

When  William  de  Bruce  was  lord  of  Breck- 
nock, his  uncle,  Henry  of  Hereford,  was 
murdered  by  some  chieftains  of  Gwent,  in  the 
reign  of  Henry  II  ;  and  in  retaliation  for  the 
deed,  William  gave  an  invitation  to  Seisyllt- 
ap-Dyfnwall,  his  son  Geoffry,  and  others,  to 
Abergavenny  as  to  an  entertainment,  but  in 
the  mean  time  had  the  house  of  Seisyllt 
burnt,  his  son  ( an  infant )  killed  in  the 
presence  of  the  mother,  whom  he  had  also 
conveyed  to  his  castle. 

Trahern  the  little,  a  chieftain  of  Brecknock, 
was  assassinated  by  William  de  Bruce,  a  Nor- 
man lord,  in  the  reign  of  Richard  I. 

Brecknock  was  besieged  in  the  reign  of 
Henry  III.  by  Llewellyn,  anno  121 6:  but  it 


was  afterwards  raised,  and  mutual  compromises 
made  by  the  parties.     (Fide  page  127). 

Llewellyn  having  ignominiously  put  to  death 
William  de  Bruce,  then  lord  of  Brecknock, 
Henry  of  England  summoned  Llewellyn  to 
appear  before  him,  but  he  not  complying,  and 
acting  with  hostility,  the  king  sent  governors 
into  Wales,  and  treated  the  Welsh  with  some 
cruelty,  under  the  plea  of  conquest  in  1231  ; 
Llewellyn  on  this  made  himself  (among  others) 
master  of  Brecknock  fortress, 

The  country  between,  Brecknock  and  Here- 
ford was  greatly  devastated  by  the  contending 
parties  of  the  king  and  the  earl  of  Leicester,, 
in  conjunction  with  Llewellyn.  It  may  be  here 
observed,  that  in  the  succeeding  reign  of  Ed- 
ward, Llewellyn  lost  all  power  excepting  by 
favor  of  the  king,  and  was  afterwards  slain  at 
Bualth,  from  which  time  the  principality  became 
affixed  to  England's  crown ;  but  those  parts 
which  constituted  the  strength  of  the  place  and 


security   to    the    town,    are   now  so  dilapidated, 
that   we   may, 

"  Deep  struck  with  awe,  now  mark  the  dome  o'erthrown, 
"  Where  once,  the  beauty  bloomed,  the  warrior  shone ; 
"  And  see  the  castle's  mouldering  towers  decayed, 
"  The  loose  stone  tottering  o'er  the  trembling  shade." 

The  castle  is  separated  from  the  town  by 
the  river  Tarrel,  over  which  there  is  a  narrow 
bridge.  At  the  east  end  of  the  town  is  the 
college,  which  had  originally  been  a  Dominican 
priory,  but  converted  by  Henry  VIII.  who  stiled 
it  "  the  college  of  Christchurch,  Brecknock/' 
having  added  to  it  the  college  of  Abergilu,  it 
remains  at  this  time,  consisting  of  the  bishop 
of  St.  David,  as  dean,  a  precentor,  treasurer, 
chancellor,  and  nineteen  prebendaries ;  three  of 
the  bishops  were  buried  here,  viz.  Mainwaring, 
Lucy,  and  Bull  ;  the  walks  are  wonderfully 
pleasant,  and  shew  that  the  monks  were  pretty 
well  acquainted  with  the  benefit  of  pleasant 
circumstances  to  enliven  their  hours  of  recre- 
ation ;  the  river  close  by  can  scarcely  be  seen. 


,  / 

but  its  murmuring  course  may  be  very  dis- 
tinctly heard,  and  its  romantic  scenery  affords 
an  agreeable  resort  for  the  present  inhabitants 
of  the  town. 

The  church  is  an  handsome  edifice  in  the 
form  of  a  cross,  has  side  ailes  in  the  body, 
but  none  in  the  chancel,  and  the  cloisters 
may  still  be  seen,  which  originally  joined  it 
to  the  priory:  the  inhabitants  are  numerous, 
and  the  many  respectable  edifices  bespeak  its 
prosperity,  and  I  should  deserve  to  be  branded 
with  ingratitude  did  I  neglect  to  offer  my 
thanks  to  the  Rev.  RICHARD  DAVIS,  chief 
magistrate  of  the  place,  not  only  for  his  hos- 
pitality, but  trouble  in  pointing  out  any  thing 
worthy  of  attention.  No  sooner  had  I  left 
Brecon,  but  the  scenes  became  enriched  with 
every  object  that  can  diversify  landscape  in 
the  most  picturesque  effect,  and  all  the  pro- 
ductions of  the  earth  were  embellishing  the 
vale  in  abundant  fertility,  beautifully  intersected . 
by  vernal  enclosures,  tinged  with  all  the 
colours  most  grateful  to  the  sight,  and  flourish- 


ing  from  the  industrious  attention  paid  to 
agriculture :  through  this  smiling  plain  the 
meandering  Usk  winds  its  rippling  face  in  every 
fantastic  curvature,  and  finely  contrasting  the 
regular  and  glassy  surface  of  the  canal,  which 
appears  sullen  by  the  conscious  superiority  of 
the  celebrated  river;  on  each  side  the  banks 
rise  with  graceful  ascent,  and  break  into  a 
rich  prospect  of  ornamented  and  cultivated 
nature,  spotted  with  numerous  small  residences 
seated  on  its  bosom;  the  valley  is  spacious, 
and  receives  an  additional  grace  by  being 
sprinkled  with  edifices  all  arrayed  in  white ; 
picturing  the  sweet  blessings  of  content,  pre- 
senting a  most  garnished  view,  arrayed  in  the 
gay  attire"  of  nature,  and  making  it  impossible 
to  do  justice  to  such  scenery  by  any  attempt 
of  mine  in  description;  when  I  considered 
the  amazing  product  likely  to  be  obtained, 
I  could  not  but  recollect  with  pleasure,  the 
following  energetic  lines  on  the  security 
this  kingdom  enjoys,  in  respect  to  the  pro- 
perty of  individuals,  in  every  station  of  their 


*'  Oh  happy  plains,  remote  from  war's  alarms, 

"  And  all  the  ravages  of  hostile  arms  ! 

"  And  happy  shepherds,  who,  secure  from  fear, 

"  On  open  downs,  preserve  your  fleecy  care! 

"  Where  spacious  barns  groan  with  increasing  store, 

"  And  whirling  flails  disjoint  the  cracking  floor, 

"  No  barbarous  soldier,  bent  on  cruel  spoil, 

"  Spreads  desolation  o'er  your  fertile  soil ; 

"  No  trampling  steed  lays  waste  the  ripening  gram, 

"  No  crackling  fires  devour  the  promised  gain : 

"  No  flaming  beacons  cast  their  blaze  afar, 

**  The  dreadful  signal  of  invasive  war ; 

"  No  trumpet's  clangor  wounds  the  mother's  ear, 

"  And  calls  the  lover  from  his  swooning  fair. 

"  The  happy  fields,  unknown  to  noise  and  strife, 

"  The  kind  rewarders  of  industrious  life." 

Near  the  fifth  mile  stone  on  the  left,  by 
the  road  side,  is  a  venerable  monument  of  an- 
tiquity, which  is  nearly  involved  in  obscurity; 
it  is  of  a  cylindrical  form,  about  five  feet  high, 
on  which  the  traces  of  a  few  Roman  letters 
still  remain,  though  time  has  bestowed  much 
pains  to  destroy  its  dumb  eloquence ;  it  is 
by  some  supposed  to  be  a  sepulchral  pillar: 
Camden  takes  notice  of  it,  and  describes  the 

characters    to    have    been  N filius  Vic- 

torini,    and    bishop   Gibson    likewise    mentions 


the  stone,  but  no  certainty,  from  either 
them  or  the  stone  itself,  can  now  be  had, 
and  it  is  with  some  difficulty  that  VICTOR 
can  be  clearly  distinguished,  so  all  conjec- 
ture for  what  purpose  or  by  whom  erected 
must  be  superfluous ;  of  its  antiquity  alone 
we  can  be  certain,  but  the  great  destroyer 
of  all  will  perhaps  soon  erase  every  mark 
now  remaining,  and  consign  the  whole  to 


i  • 

The  nearer  approaches  of  the  road  became 
more  wooded,  but  not  less  agreeable,  and 
while  the  eye  was  viewing  such  a  series  of 
delights  from  the  prospects,  the  fragrant  flow- 
ers of  the  entwining  honeysuckle,  were  filling 
the  air  with  the  sweetness  of  its  perfume,  to 
add  to  the  gratification  of  another  sense;  to 
the  right  is  the  house  of  Mr.  WYNNIS,  cal- 
led Buckland  ;  on  the  left  the  ride  receives 
no  inconsiderable  ornament  from  a  vast  sheet 
of  water,  called  Lan-gos-pool :  near  the  ele- 
venth mile  stone  the  remain  of  a  castellated 
object,  called  Tretwr,  hands  itself  to  notice  by 


peeping  above  numerous  trees  in  the  midst  of 
a  small  village ;  it  does  not  appear  a  very 
ancient  structure,  but  the  nearer  I  approached^ 
the  more  my  attention  was  demanded;  not 
only  by  the  elegance  of  its  tower,  but  the 
yellow  tint  left  from  the  pencil  of  corroding 
time ;  nothing  remained  but  the  ruined  circu- 
lar shell,  and  a  few  vestiges  of  ancient  modes 
of  defence  which  once  enclosed  it,  were  partly 
hidden  from  the  eye  by  a  luxuriant  mantle  of 
ivy,  while  another  was  in  a  declining  posture, 

E  e 


not  so  much  from  the  decay  of  time,  as  from 
the  wanton  barbarity  of  the  incurious.  Ne- 
glected pile  !  scarce  any  history  to  record,  or 
tradition  to  relate  that  thou  once  hadst  fame  ! 
but  surely  disgrace  had  not  blotted  out  thy 
name,  as  being  one  of  those  links  not  forged 
for  the  strength  of  the  country,  but  as  a  chain 
to  bind  the  liberty  of  the  subject  in  the  cru- 
elty of  feudal  times,  a  shackle  to  fetter  nature 
and  curb  its  freedom  !  There  is  but  one  cir- 
cumstance which  I  could  find  relating  to  it ; 
that  is,  during  Glendwr's  rebellion,  Henry  IV. 
confided  it  to  James  Berkley,  from  which  we 
may  conclude  the  structure  owes  its  demolition 
to  that  chief.  Of  the  village,  there  is  nothing 
else  of  consequence  to  detain  a  traveller. 

Continuing  onwards,  every  step  affords  a 
various  prospect  rendered  beautiful  by  change, 
and  more  delightful  by  variety;  yet,  paradox- 
ical as  it  may  seem,  it  is  still  a  sameness, 
but  that  sameness,  from  its  incessant  loveliness, 
not  only  animates  the  eye,  but  enlivens  the 
mind ;  the  mansion,  the  village,  the  cottage, 


were  sprinkled  on  the   confines   of  the   stream, 

all  tinted  in  white,  as  emblematical  of  internal 

neatness,    and  I   could   not   help   infringing   on 

a   commandment    by    coveting    the  lowly   roof 

of  one  of  the  latter,    but   not  without  wishing 

the    present    proprietor    was    benefited   by  the 

loss   of  it.     There  is   one    peculiarly   attractive, 

being    the  residence   of  Admiral  GJELL    (and  I 

must  beg  leave  to  adopt  the  sentiments  flowing 

from   the   elegant   pen   of  Mr.  Skrine),     "  dis-r 

"  tinguished  for  the  beauty  of  its  position,  the 

"  singularity  of  its  structure,  and  the  eccentric 

"  benevolence  of  its  worthy  owner,  who,  retired 

"  with  well  earned  fame  from  the  active  duties 

(e  of  his  profession,  here  gladdens  the  heart  of 

"  the    villager  by  his    liberality,    and   is   justly 

*(  esteemed  by   the  whole   country," 


Opposite  to  the  last-mentioned  place,  by 
the  road  side,  and  one  mile  distant,  stands  a 
cromlech,  an  immense  flat  stone,  supported 
by  four  others,  supposed  to  have  been  dedi- 
cated to,  and  employed  in  the  rites  of  Drui- 
dical  religion,  a  record  of  v  savage  barbarity 



where  human  sacrifices  are  said  to  have  been 
offered  to  their  deities ;  and  when  I  reflected 
that  this  might  have  been  stained  by  their 
horrid  rites  of  superstition,  as  the  blood  of 
men  was  considered  more  acceptable  than  that 
of  animals,  perhaps  it  might  have  been  reeking 
with  human  gore,  I  could  not  resist  pitying 
their  barbarous  zeal  as  considering  it  a  sanction 
whereby  every  species  of  vice  was  washed  away. 

I  nor#"  entered  Crick-howell,  or  as  others 
stile  it  Crug-hy wel,  and  found  it  a  neat  though 
small  town,  situated  near  the  Usk,  over  which 
there  is  a  bridge  of  fourteen  arches ;  the 
inhabitants  boast  of  the  salubrity  of  this  situ- 
ation, and  informed  me  they  were  frequently 
resorted  to  by  numerous  visitors,  for  the 
benefit  of  pure  air  and  assistance  of  goat's 
milk  whey ;  they  appear  to  enjoy  of  the 
necessaries  and  comforts  of  life  a  very  consi-? 
derable  share  ;  and  as  far  as  I  was  concerned 
in  acquiring,  found  as  reasonable  as  most 
parts  of  this  country ;  and  the  habitations  alto- 
gether were  very  respectable. 


At  a  little  distance  from  the  extremity  of 
the  town,  and  rather  out  of  the  road,  are  the 
remains*  of  an  ancient  castle,  called  by  some  - 

Alisby  castle,  but  from  its  present  appearance 
scarce  any  regular  information  can  be  gained, 
but  is  now  interesting  only  as 

•  Time's  gradual  touch 

"  has  mouldered  into  beauty  many  a  tower, 

"  which,  when  it  frowned  with  all  its  battlements, 

f  was  only  terrible." 

and  instead  of  the   shew  of  defence,  now  prc- 

sents  a  few  unprotected  walls  interspersed  with 
ivy.  In  Glendwr's  rebellion,  the  king  of  En- 
gland entrusted  this  castle  to  John  Pouncefort; 
the  keep  is  somewhat  in  the  manner  of  Cardiff, 
mounted  on  an  artificial  eminence,  but  divested 
of  all  security  to  itself  or  surrounding  remnants, 
which  appear  to  be  subjected  to  the  use  of  the 
neighbouring  people,  for  constructing  or  repairing 
their  dwellings  ;  in  all  probability,  this  castle  was 
destroyed  by  Glendwr,  and  never  after  rebuilt. 


On  the  mountain  called  Carno,  but  a 
small  distance  from  hence,  was  fought  the 
.battle  between  Ethelbald  and  the  force  of  Gla- 
morgan in  728,  but  the  contest  was  not  ended 
by  the  particular  success  of  either  party  ;  the 
appearance  of  the  country  resembled  what  I 
have  before  observed,  and  continued  in  the 
same  species  of  scenery,  changing  every  mo- 
ment into  some  new  beauties,  and  every  instant 
disclosing  the  profuse  gifts  of  nature  teeming 
with  fertility,  and  every  house  and  person 
avowing  the  enjoyment  of  content  and  happi-r 
ness;  and 


"  The  lucid  Usk  the  enamoured  eye  pursues 

"  along  the  expanse,  the  undulating  line 

"  that  nature  loves,  whether  with  gentle  bend 

"  she  slopes  the  vale,  or  lifts  the  gradual  hill, 

"  winds  the  free  rivulet,  or  down  the  bank 

"  spreads  the  wild  wood's  luxuriant  youth,  or  breaks' 

"  with  interrupting  heights  the  even  bound 

"  of  the  outstretch'd  horizon. 

" gradual  up  the  height 

"  of  the  rough  hills,  ascending  Ceres  leads 

"  the  patient  step  of  labour ;  the  wide  heath, 

"  where  once  the  nibbling  flock  scant  herbage  cropt, 

"  waves  in  the  bieeze,  with  golden  harvests  crown'd  I" 

Near  the  summit  of  the  grassy  hills 
observed  small  white  hillocks,  where  I  was 
informed  lime-kilns  had  formerly  been ;  and 
when  all  the  stone  well  within  their  reach 
had  been  exhausted,  the  structures  were  re- 
moved into  more  convenient  situations,  and 
are  supposed  to  be  the  remains  of  labor  two 
centuries  past. 

I  now  entered  Abergavenny,  a  town  of 
much  respectability,  considerable  in  size,  replete 
with  all  conveniences,  and  a  thoroughfare  to 
an  extensive  part  of  Wales  and  northern 


counties.  It  has  the  character  of  gaining  cele- 
brity from  the  resort  of  many  persons,  as  well 
of  fashion  as  invalids  for  the  purpose,  with 
which  most  follow  the  custom  to  other  places 
of  annual  migration,  health,  variety,  and  recre- 
ation :  at  the  same  time  it  is  to  be  considered, 
there  are  not  the  usual  appendages  here,  as  at 
many  others,  of  minerals  or  bathing  waters ; 
but  if  rural  retirements  are  sufficiently  attrac- 
tive, and  the  mind  can  be  satisfied  with  the 
scenery  and  peculiarities  of  a  hilly  or  moun- 
tainous situation,  I  confess  it  is  a  place  in 
most  respects  applicable,  and  as  reasonable  in 
the  articles  of  food  and  convenience  as  any  I 
am  acquainted  with.  It  boasts  of  age,  and  in 
conjunction  with  others,  has  borne  numberless 
vicissitudes;  it  stands  on  a  gentle  rising  ground 
at  the  foot  of  the  Berry,  and  watered  by  the 
sinuous  and  limpid  Usk,  over  which  is  a  fine 
bridge  of  fifteen  arches.  It  is  stated  to  have 
been  once  a  corporated  town,  and  considerable 
in  population;  it  is  well  peopled,  although 
several  branches  of  trade  have  of  late  years 
been  lost ;  and  is  a  small  traffic  in  flannels 



and   shoes,   which   are   sent  to   Bristol   for   ex- 
portation still  remains. 

When  William  III.  acquired  the  government 
of  this  realm,  Abergavenny  is  said  to  have 
been  rather  against  it,  and  in  consequence 
they  lost  their  charter;  but  the  neighbouring 
iron-works  in  some  measure  are  beginning  to 
bring  this  place  into  more  importance  than  it 
has  for  many  years  experienced ;  and  the  sur- 
rounding eminences  seem  to  promise  a  long 
and  great  supply  of  ore  to  continue  the 
concerns,  of  which  these  are  the  principal ; 
viz.  Blanaevon,  Beaufort,  Serhowy,  and  Elber- 
Vale,  and  the  numerous  streams  descending 
from  the  hills  are  calculated  to  encourage  any 
establishment  which  requires  the  aid  of  water. 

The  town  was  once  walled,  and  had  a 
castle  of  considerable  size,  most  delightfully 
situated  on  an  eminence  which  commands  the 
town,  and  contributes  to  the  pleasure  of  an 
extensive  prospect:  the  ruins  may  now  be  a 
guide  to  a  great  share  of  truth  in  ascertaining 

F  f 


the  original  form  and  extent ;  and  though  not 
nearly  so  much  surrounded  by  wood,  or  its 
wall  so  profusely  covered  by  the  clinging  ivy, 
as  many  relics  of  other  fortresses  are,  yet  it 
Is  an  interesting  subject  for  observations  and 
contemplation,  now  mouldering  and  presenting 
to  the  view  the  fate  of  former  grandeur  and 
security ;  erected  by  Hameline  de  Baladun,  one 
of  the  Norman  adventurers,  who  acquired 
Abergavenny  (the  ancient  Gobannium  of  the 
Romans)  by  conquest,  and  endeavoured  to  give 
it  an  appearance  of  n  permanent  settlement. 

215  j,. 

In  1177  the  castle  was  chosen  by  William 
de  Bruce,  (a  lord  of  Brecknock),  for  the 
duplicity  of  entertaining  Seisyllt,  whilst  De 
Bruce  burnt  the  house  of  his  guest,  murdered 
his  infant  son,  and  confined  the  wife,  in  reta- 
liation for  the  assassination  of  Brace's  uncle  ; 
for  this  the  castle  was  afterwards  stormed, 
and  the  governor,  his  wife,  and  garrison,  with 
the  fortress,  destroyed ;  and  De  Bruce  narrowly 

In  1202,  when  Llewellyn  gave  a  blow  to 
the  independence  of  Wales  by  swearing  fealty 
to  the  English,  and  submitting  the  territory 
to  feudal  principles,  some  occasion  of  jealousy 
occurred,  and  expeditions  against  Wales  were 
the  consequence,  when  Bruce  obtained  Aber- 

When  Henry  IV,  headed  an  army  in  the 
north  during  Glendwr's  rebellion,  among  other 
castles  confided  to  persons  of  fidelity  in  the 
marches,  &c.  we  find  Abergavenny  was  entrusted 
to  Sir  William  Beauchamp. 


The  castle  and  lordship  were  enjoyed  *by 
his  son  Richard,  but  he  dying  in  consequence 
of  a  wound  in  1420,  the  castle  and  lordship 
became  the  right  ( as  settled  by  a  will  of 
Sir  William's,  on  failure  of  issue  male  by  his 
son )  of  Richard,  earl  of  Warwick,  the  favo- 
rite of  Henry  V.  afterwards  his  son.  Henry 
succeeded  and  had  additional  honours  given 
him,  by  being  created  duke  of  Warwick,  with 
privilege  to  wear  a  golden  coronet ;  he  did 
not  enjoy  them  long,  for  dying  in  the  22d 
year  of  his  age,  the  possession  fell  to 

Richard  Nevill,  brother  to  the  late  duke. 

The  duke  of  Clarence  was  the  next  posses- 
sor of  the  castle,  and  on  his  attainder  it  was 
taken  to  by 

Richard  III. — at  his  death  it  was  restored  to 

The  widow  of  the  earl  of  Warwick,  who  in 
a  short  time  was  compelled  to  surrender  it  by 
deed  to 

217    . 


Henry  VII.  who  granted   it  to 


The  earl  of  Pembroke,  created  duke  of  Bed- 
ford ;  from  him  it  reverted  to  the  "crown. — 
Henry  VIII.  restored  it  to  the  heirs  of  its  old 
possessors,  the  Nevills ;  which  afterwards  cre- 
ated some  dispute  to  whom  it  should  of  right 
belong,  as  the  family  were  divided,  and  the 
barony  of  Le  Despenser  belonged  equally  to 
them  ;  this  was  decided  by  granting  the  barony 
of  Abergavenny  to  the  male,  and  Le  Despenser 
to  the  female  branch,  but  precedence  to  the 
latter ;  and  by  lineal  descent,  the  present  earl  is 
the  possessor. 

This  castle  has  the  same  privilege  as  Arun* 
del,  that  of  giving  the  dignity  of  baron  to  its 
possessor,  exclusively  of  any  other  creation. 

I  am  not  certain  of  the  time  or  cause  which 
reduced  the  pile  to  ruins,  but  conceive  it  is 
not  improbable  that  Glendwr's  rebellion  was 
the  original  means  of  its  destruction,  for  it  is 
\vell  known  that  bold  chief  seldom  spared  any 


edifice  which  lay  in  the  way  of  his  designs, 
or  afforded  protection  to  his  opponents ;  and 
those  which  escaped  or  had  repaired  injuries 
from  him,  met  (with  very  few  exceptions)  a 
final  overthrow  from  the  rage  and  barbarity  of 
Oliver  Cromwell. 

Many  years  ago  this  town  had  three  churches ; 
of  which,  one  only,  called  St.  Mary's,  is  now 
appropriated  for  the  service  in  English ;  this 
was  once  attached  to  the  priory  founded  by 
Hameline  de  Barham  (or  Baladun)  for  black 
Monks  of  the  French  order ;  *  in  it  are 
many  curious  monuments  of  antiquity,  and  of 
noble  and  ancient  families  ;  but  to  enumerate 
them  or  to  give  description,  would  not  be 
very  interesting,  and  the  guide  will  fully  ex- 
plain them  : — Another  church  is  in  being,  but 
very  decayed,  and  is  solely  used  by  the  Welsh. 
The  traveller  who  has  time,  and  wishes  to 
have  a  distant  and  luxuriant  display  of  nature, 
will  be  amply  compensated  by  ascending  either 
of  the  eminences  of  the  Blorenge,  Great  Skyr- 

'    »  Camdcii. 


rid,  or  the  Sugar-Loaf ;  the  latter  is  the  highest, 
being  1852  feet  above  the  mouth  of  the 
Gavenny  which  discharges  its  waters  into  the 
Usk,  a  short  distance  from  the  town  ;  neither 
of  them  are  so  far  situated  as  to  be  fatiguing 
in  the  journey,  or  difficult  to  accomplish. 

Leaving  Abergavenny  you  keep  by  the  side 
of  the  ground  belonging  to  the  park  of  Sir 
HANBURY  WILLIAMS,  where  fine  groves  of 
trees  were,  fancifully  dispersed,  and  the  place 
receiving  every  charm  from  the  improving  hand 
of  art ;  but  the  mouldering  pillars  at  the 
entrance  gate  spread  a  gloom  over  the  mind, 
as  representing  mutes  mournfully  lamenting  a 
fallen  state :  behind  it  the  Little  Skyrrid  rears 
its  variegated  head,  embellished  with  every 
feature  that  can  tend  to  delight,  and  perhaps 
exhibiting  the  finest  specimen  of  adorned  na- 
ture by  tufted  shrubs  and  a  luxuriancy  of 
fertility.  The  vale  became  more  expanded  and 
variegated  by  the  fantastic  Usk,  which  was 
not  only  abundant  in  water,  but  limpid  and 
refreshing.  Fancy  had  stretched  forth  her  hand, 


and  combined  all  the  beauties  of  art  tastefully 
strewed  on  those  of  nature ;  and  beautiful  as 
the  whole  of  the  ride  had  been  from  Brecon, 
it  was  here  out-done,  all  her  store  having  been 
exhausted  in  presenting  an  expanse  of  the 
most  pleasing  intermingled  beauties.  Never  did 
I  see  a  country  more  designed  for  happiness, 
or  formed  to-  smile  misfortunes  away ;  and  with 
a  neat  residence  just  large  enough  to  hold 
one  who  could  felicitate  in  the  surrounding 
beauties,  it  would  appear  a  terrestrial  paradise. 

At  the  fifth  mile  stone  on  the  right  is  the 
seat  of  the  Rev.  Dr.  HOOPER,  with  every 
suitable  and  interesting  embellishment :  on  the 

left  is  the  neat  cottage  of  GREEN,  Esq. 

Beyond  it  a  plantation  of  firs  by  the  road 
side  bespoke  ,the  approach  to  a  mansion  of 
elegance,  the  entrance  to  which  was  through 
a  light  arch  of  gothic  architecture,  tastefully 
embellished.  Clytha  the  seat  of  W.  JONES, 
Esq.  here  presents  itself,  adorned  with  every 
appendage  that  opulence  could  furnish ;  la- 
menting to  find  its  possessor  from  home,  of 


whom  I  wished  to  have  requested  a  sight  of 
the  castle,  (whose  top  is  only  seen  from 
the  house,  being  excluded  by  embowering  trees,) 
a  respectable  person  belonging  to  the  establish- 
ment not  only  assured  me  permission,  but  re- 
quested to  be  my  attendant :  through  a  beautiful 
pleasure-ground  the  path  is  laid  out  with  much 
taste  and  judgment,  not  only  to  render  the 
ascent  as  easy  as  possible  by  its  gentle  curvatures, 
but  grateful  by  the  perfume  of  fragrant  shrubs 
planted  by  its  side;  seats  were  stationed  in 
different  situations,  and  openings  cut  to  catch 
pleasing  views,  and  every  fancy  which  genius 
could  bestow  had  been  applied,  to  render  it 
a  peculiar  charm  to  the  eye,  and  artfully  to' 
conceal  the  castle  from  view,  'till  its  nearest 


The  structure  is  gothie,  in  a  beautiful  stile 
of  architecture,  situated  on  the  summit  of  a 
hill,  which  displays  a  feature  of  landscape,  com- 
manding attention  and  admiration,  formed  for 
intellectual  and  serene  enjoyment,  contempla- 
tion, and  pensiveness,  with  such  charms  as  only 

G    g 


to  be  outshone  by  the  elegance  of  its  internal 
decorations ;  the  views  from  it  are  exquisitely 
beautiful,  and  the  distant  hills  formed  an  am- 
phitheatre attired  in  azure  mist.  The  residence 
of  Dr.  HOOPER,  is  from  hence  peculiarly  at- 
tractive, and  the  grounds  in  its  rear  are  so 
tastefully  displayed,  that  they  would  not  allow 
of  any  further  capability  of  improvement.  On 
descending  the  hill  my  well-informed  attendant 
not  only  requested  me  to  rest  myself  at  the 
mansion,  but  partake  of  refreshment,  and  urged 
me  with  so  much  warmth,  that  it  spoke  the 
wishes  of  his  own  feelings,  and  the  innate  hos- 
pitality of  the  generous  possessor  of  Clytha, 
that  I  could  scarcely  resist  accepting  it:  re- 
ceiving, such  peculiar  attention  from  a  total 
stranger,  filled  me  with  sensations  of  surprize, 
but  when  I  reflected  it  proceeded  the 
characteristic  hospitality  of  the  country,  makes 
language  become  too  feeble  to  express  my 
thanks;  nor  could  I  leave  a  place  at  which 
such  marked  attention  was  shewn,  without  se- 
cretly enjoying  a  peculiar  satisfaction,  although 
unable  sufficiently  to  express  my  sense  of  it. 


On  the  left  is  Lanarth,  whose  possessor  is  nearly 
allied  by  the  ties  of  blood  to  Clytha;  and  indeed 
it  likewise  bespoke  its  kindred  by  a  resemblance 
in  elegance. 

On  reaching  the  summit  of  the  hill,  I  could 
not  resist  casting  a  look  back  on  the  parts  I 
had  left;  the  view,  though  changed,  had  ac- 
quired (if  possible)  additional  beauties;  a  more 
extensive  sight  of  the  meandering  Usk  was 
adding  graces  to  the  upper  part  of  the  vale,  by 
its  capricious  and  fantastic  form;  looking  down 
the  vale  it  seemed  to  take  its  farewell,  and 
dignifiedly  retired,  gliding  behind  a  fertilized 
hill  peculiar  in  richness,  and  diversified  with 
every  thing  that  scenery  admits. 

*'  Here  lawns  extend  that  scorn  Arcadian  pride, 
/     "  And  brighter  streams  than  fam'd  Hydaspis,  glide; 
"  Here  all  around  the  gentlest  breezes  play, 
"  Here  gentlest  music  melts  on  every  spray : 
"  Creation's  mildest  charms  are  here  combined ; 
"  Extremes  are  only  in  the  viewer's  mind." 

Leaving  the  direct  road  to  Monmouth,  which 
breaks  off  to  the  left,  kept  to  the  right  to 
visit  Ragland,  whose  ivy'd  walls  presenting  every 


vegetable  tint,  soon  appeared  in  view,  and  made 
me  pause  with  admiration;  and  its  bold  appear- 
ance warmed  my  imagination  with  the  most 
lively  impressions  of  delight  by  its  extensive 
and  ponderous  remains,  which  seemed  to 
resemble  the  work  of  supernatural  agency. 

Ragland,  to  a  stranger  on  his  journey,  appa- 
rently is  on  low  ground,  but  an  inspection  of 
the  ruins  is  sufficient  to  do  away  any  such 
idea;  it  will  be  found  in  reality  an  elevated 
place,  and  commanding  an  extent  of  view 
truly  surprising,  and  as  agreeable  as  they  are 
diversified :  indeed,  as  I  expected  no  such 
gratification,  it  was  the  more  pleasing,  and  from 
this  trifling  matter  I  had  additional  regret  that 
so  noble  an  edifice  should  have  met  such  an 
undeserved  fate.  The  vast  grandeur  of  the 
original  building,  and  most  of  the  appendages, 
may  be  easily  conceived,  although  the  means 
of  entertainment  are  no  more  ;  the  venerable 
relics  can  now  only  ajd  the  reflective  mirrd  to 
the  ^stress  occasioned  by  warfare,  and  lieight- 

ened  on  the  consideration  of  having  been  im- 



brucd  in  brother's  blood:  of  all  commotions 
to  which  the  fate  of  nations  is  liable,  not 
the  least  horrid  is  that  of  civil  tumult ;  its 
rancour  scarcely  ever  smoothed,  but  by  the 
destruction  of  the  opposite,  and  the  spoil  of 
every  thing  which  had  been  owned  by  the  vic- 
tim to  its  security ;  nor  were  the  excesses 
committed  on  the  more  peaceful,  less  destructive 
than  the  savage  demolition  of  rage  and  bar- 
barity, stimulated  from  revenge  ;  of  .  defence 
and  slaughter.  This  place  is  one  among  the 
numerous  proofs  of  the  devastating  principle  of 
stormy  faction,  and  exhibits  proud  remnants  of 
popularity  and  firm  attachment  to  an  honest 
cause.  In  surveying  the  extent  of  the  ruins, 
and  the  numerous  communications  from  one 
part  to  another,  we  must  naturally  be  surprised 
at  the  infinitude  of  labor  exerted  to  form  it ; 
and  we  are  also  led  to  conjecture  that  our 
ancestors  had  a  greater  knowledge  of  binding 
their  materials  together  to  withstand  decay,  and 
prove  a  greater  difficulty  for  man  to  disjoin, 
than  the  present  age  is  master  of :  I  could 
cot  but  observe  this  was  in  a  great  measure 

the  case  here,  as  at  Caerphilly,  that  to  the 
strength  of  the  cement  we  are  beholden  for  the 
remains  of  the  mansion ;  for  the  extreme  diffi- 
culty of  separating  the  stones  from  it,  preserves 
the  compacted  masses  from  the  pilfering  hand 
which  would  long  since  have  destroyed  them ; 
and  not  improbably  as  well  from  destructive 
inclinations,  as  to  be  subservient  for  their 
purposes  of  building  or  repairing  their  several 

The  date  of  founding  this  building  cannot 
be  with  certainty  stated,  and  though  it  is  said 
to  be  of  no  great  antiquity,  yet  I  presume 
this  arises  from  the  many  modern  ornaments 
discoverable  in  various  parts  of  its  ruins  ;  my 
opinion  is  that  a  baronial  residence  had  been 
long  established  here,  enlarged  upon,  and  con- 
structed as  circumstances  required,  and  the  owner 
found  suitable.  It  has  been  said  that  it  had 
its  origin  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VII.  but  this 
most  assuredly  is  an  error,  since  we  can  find 
in  history  that  even  in  the  reign  of  Henry  II. 
3  period  previous  of  330  years,  the  castle  and 


manor  of  Ragland  was  given  to  Walter  Bloet,* 
afterwards  confirmed  to  Sir  James  Berkley,  who 
married  Bloet's  daughter ;  but  in  a  pedigree  of 
the  Beaufort  family,  inserted  at  length  by  Mr. 
Coxe,  it  begins  in  the  reign  of  Richard  II. 
and  continues  in  direct  order  to  the  present 
heir  ;  both  these  circumstances  therefore  clearly 
demonstrate  an  early  origin  of  the  building ; 
of  the  occasion  of  its  downfall,  it  had  scarce 
need  be  said,  that  it  was  in  the  unhappy  time 
of  Charles  I.  but  for  an  explicit  account  there- 
of, and  many  curious  particulars  relating  to  the 
family,  with  a  description  of  its  ancient  apart- 
ments, I  must  recommend  the  traveller  to  a 
small  but  sufficiently  explicit  tract,  compiled 
and  published  by  Mr.  HEATH,  of  Monmouth, 
and  which  may  also  be  had  in  the  village ;  suf- 
fice it  therefore  to  say,  that  these  magnificent 
ruins  are  entitled  to  the  honour  of  being  one 
of  the  last  fortresses  which  held  out  in  favour 
of  Charles  I.  and  to  be  more  highly  considered 
of  when  it  is  known  not  to  have  been  a  castle 
in  the  strict  sense  of  the  word,  but  as  a  noble 

*  Dugdald 


baronial  residence  strengthened  and  defended 
for  the  purpose  of  loyally  giving  refuge  to  an 
unfortunate  sovereign,  and  bearing  the  troubles 
consequent  thereon ;  of  the  munificence  or 
magnificence  of  its  dignified  owner  it  would 
be  scarcely  believed,  were  it  not  well  attested 
on  the  historic  page,  and  however  unfortu- 
nate it  ended  still  redounds  to  credit,  and  an 
honourable  testimony  of  loyalty,  bravery,  and 
perseverance;  and  it  must  be  satisfactory  to 
relate,  that  in  order  to  perpetuate  the  events 
of  those  days,  and  contribute  to  the  preser- 
vation of  these  venerable  remains,  the  present 
proprietor  has  strictly  enjoined  a  forbearance  to 
plunder,  or  otherwise  deface  them. 


Those  who  feel  an  innate  pleasure  in  being 
amongst  ruins,  and  recapitulating  in  their  mind 
the  numerous  vicissitudes  to  which  it  might, 
have  been'  liable,  will  here  find  ample  en- 
couragement to  their  reveries.  The  sublime 
appearance  of  the  ivy-mantled  walls,  the  beauti- 
ful south  entrance,  and  stately  chambers,  are 
truly  in  a  state  sufficiently  adverting  to  the 


rapine  of  men,  and  slow  but  sure  efforts  of 
corroding  time.  This  place  has  something 
beyond  many  other  buildings  of  the  nature  to 
occupy  our  attention  by  the  records  of  its 
destruction,  having  been  so  carefully  preserved, 
and  the  epoch  not  so  distant ;  but  (in  a 
manner)  we  may  receive  information  from  the 
relatives  of  the  party  who,  in  some  shape  or 
other,  were  employed  in  the  business :  under 
these  circumstances  Ragland  will  stand  foremost 

H  h 

as  a  place  worthy  the  curiosity  of  travellers, 
and  will  affbrcl  a  fund  for  observation,  both 
pleasant  and  striking.  The  reverence  due  to 
such  a  pile  will  arise  not  only  from  the  situ- 
ation in  which  it  now  appears  with  all  the 
characters  of  splendour,  which  e'en  the  destroy- 
ing hand  of  time  will  give ;  but  from  the  part 
it  has  borne  in  a  scene  of  incessant  turbulence 
and  general  confusion ;  nor  can  the  accidents 

of  warfare  deprive  it  of  the  glory  it  undoubt- 
edly has  acquired  from  the  defence  of  its  noble 
and  generous  commander.  Nature,  ever  busy, 
has  long  and  unceasingly  been  at,  work,  and 
decorated  the  remains  with  a  profusion  and 
variety  of  elegancies ;  trees  of  almost  every 
sort,  and  shrubs  of  numerous  kinds,  have  been, 
and  are  still  growing  in  the  vacancies  where 
splendid  hospitality  once  reigned;  and  its  once 
beautiful  and  well  levelled  terraces  no  longer 
to  be  seen,  by  all  the  soil  generating  luxuriant 
weeds ;  here  the  feathered  tribes  are  now 
the  inhabitants  of  places  in  which  the  trans-, 
actions  of  a  kingdom  have  been  canvassed, 
estimated  accordingly. 


"  O  thou,  who  mid  the  world-involving  gloom, 

"  Sitt'st  on  yon  solitary  spire  ; 

"  Or  slowly  shak'st  the  sounding  dome, 

"  Or  hear'st  the  wildly  warbling  lyre  ; 

"  Say,  when  thy  musing  soul, 

"  Bids  distant  times  unroll, 

"  And  marks  the  flight  of  each  revolving  year — 

"  Of  years,  whose  slow  consuming  power, 

"  Has  clad  with  moss  yon  leaning  tower, 

"  That  saw  the  race  of  glory  run, 

"  That  mark'd  ambition's  setting  sun, 

"  That  shook  old  empire's  tow'ring  pride, 

"  That  swept  them  down  the  floating  tide  ; 

"  Say,  when  these  long-unfolding  scenes  appear, 

"  Streams  down  thy  hoary  cheek  the  pity-darting  tear  ?"        > 


Three  miles  beyond  Ragland  on  the  right, 
is  Dynastow  court,  which  has  had  somewhat  to 
do  in  the  early  concerns  of  the  country;  for 
I  find  it  mentioned  as  being  the  place  to  which 
the  enraged  party  (after  the  storming  of  Aber- 
gavenny  was  concluded)  came  and  made  a  gene- 
ral carnage,  of  which  Ranulph  the  Governor, 
and  other  active  defenders  fell  the  victims. 
This  could  not  have  been  a  fortress  of  conse- 
quence at  any  time,  were  we  to  judge  from 
appearance;  nor  is  it  likely  to  have  been 
otherwise  than  a  manor-house  erected  in  the 


lumbering  stile  of  the  times,  though  it  is 
stated  as  a  castle  on  the  decapitation  of  the 
earl  of  Pembroke,  anno  1469,  among  the  places 
he  died  possessed  of;  it  came  afterwards  into 
the  family  of  Jones,  from  whom  it  was 
purchased  by  Mr.  Duberly,  and  is  now  the 
residence  of  SAMUEL  BOSANQUET,  Esq ;  of 

At  the  end  of  three  miles  further  I  entered 
Monmouth,  after  passing  a  scope  of  that  elegant 
scenery  peculiar  to  South  Wales,  of  which 
I  know  -not  whether  to  admire  most  the 
different  gradations  of  light  and  shade,  or 
brilliant  or  gloomy  rays  of  the  sun;  all  had 
their  charms,  all  had  their  effect,  and  in 
every  situation  and  character  portrayed  inces- 
sant elegancies  and  gratifying  assemblage. 

Monmouth,  situated  on  the  rivers  Monnow 
and  Wye,  presents  to  the  traveller  a  variety  of 
pleasing  and  animating  landscapes,  placed  nearly 
central  among  a  number  of  eminences.  There 
i*  scarce  any  spot  from  which  the  town  does 


not  appear  to  advantage ;  and  where  beauty 
is  deficient,  singularity  is  prominent;  the  two 
bridges  so  different  in  construction,  form  a 
contrast  as  pleasing  as  diversified,  and  the  one 
that  bestrides  the  former,  hands  itself  to  par- 
ticular notice  by  the  venerable  gateway  that  is 
seated  on  it ;  its  high  antiquity  is  very  evident, 
and  the  era  of  its  construction  prior  to  the 
conquest.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the  nu- 
merous specimens  of  our  forefathers'  labour, 
should  be  considered  so  disgustful  to  the  mo- 

dern  eye,  and  condemned  to  be  no  more  •  this 
has  induced  me  to  represent  this  remnant  of 
their  care,  to  preserve  it  in  the  memory  of* 
the1  curious.  The  elegant  appearance  of  the 
tower  and  spire  of  the  church,  with  the  rich- 
ness of  the  woods  rising  over  each  other  from 
the  silvery  meandering  streams,  give  such  an 
effect  to  the  scene,  as  at  once  to  captivate  the 
heart,  and  dispose  the  contemplative  mind  to 
unutterable  enjoyment.  The  town  is  governed 
by  a  mayor  and  two  bailiffs,  under  a  charter 
derived  from  Edward  VI.  in  the  year  1549, 
and  sends  a  member  to  parliament  in  conjunc- 
tion with  the  burgesses  of  Newport  and  Usk. 
There  is  a  free  school  in  the  place,  founded 
by  William  Jones,  who  had  been  a  haber- 
dasher in  London,  and  one  among  the  for- 
tunate number  who  from  obscurity  rose  to 
opulence  and  respectability ;  the  master  has  a 
house,  and  90!.  per  year ;  the  usher  a  house 
and  45l.  per  year.  There  are  also  alms- 
houses  for  twenty  persons,  each  of  whom  has 
3s.  6d.  per  week ;  and  the  clergyman,  for  offi- 
ciating, inspecting,  &c.  has  a  house  and  garden 


and  1051.  per  year  :  when  we  consider  the 
value  of  money  at  the  time  of  its  foundation, 
which  was  in  the  reign  of  James  I.  it  will 
speak  the  generosity  and  liberality  of  the 

On  the  banks  of  the  Monnow,  and  near 
the  bridge,  is  the  very  ancient  church  dedi- 
cated to  St.  Thomas ;  almost  all  the  features  of 
the  building  indicate  that  its  original  foundation, 
was  in  the  Saxon  aera,  and  from  time  tq  time 
intermixed  with  the  stile  of  such  ages  as  were 
engaged  in  its  reparation;  it  is  now  a  chapel 
of  ease  to  St.  Mary,  (the  other  church,)  and 
Tuesdays  are  appointed  for  the  service.  The 
town  is  independent  of  the  county,  but  in  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  duchy  of  Lancaster ;  was 
originally  walled  round,  and  had  four  gates ; 
there  was  likewise  a  suburb  (in  the  latter  of 
which  was  St.  Thomas  before-mentioned,)  and 
excepting  on  the  river  side,  was  surrounded  by 
a  ditch  of  considerable  depth.  Camden  says, 
(t  the  town  was  of  much  importance  at  the 
"  time  of  the  conquest,"  previous  to  which  it 


is  supposed  the  castle  was  founded,  which  no 
doubt  was  the  residence  of  the  lord  of  those 
parts,  (some  are  inclined  to  think  it  was  much 
later  in  its  foundation  and  name,)  John,  lord 
of  Monmouth,  who  was  deposed  (for  adhering 
to  the  rebellious  barons)  by  Henry  III.  How- 
ever consequential  it  might  formerly  have  been, 
and  appropriated  to  military  or  benevolent  pur- 
poses, but  a  very  trifling  remnant  is  left ;  and 
one  among  a  multitude  to  silently  admonish  us 
of  the  futile  endeavour  to  rear  edifices  to 


/     ,•  ^ 

withstand  the  corroding  influence  of  insatiate 
time,  or  remain  unmantled  by  the  caprice  of 
man ;  vague  .and  indeterminate  must  be  any 
elaborate  attempt  to  describe  an  account  of  its 
original  plan  and  apartments,  as  the  various 
attacks  it  has  borne,  and  the'  decay  of  the 
remainder  leave  nothing  to  entitle  us  to  success. 
The  first  particular  account  of  consequence 
relating  to  it  is  to  be  found  during  the  reign 
of  Henry  III.  who  having  a  dispute  with  his 
barons,  several  of  them  joined  in  alliance  with 
Llewellyn,  the  nominal  prince  of  Wales ;  the 
Welsh,  headed  by  the  earl  of  Pembroke,  sur-» 
prized  the  English  army  at  Grosmont,  and 
defeated  them,  but  neglected  to  profit  in  st 
proper  manner  by  destroying  its  castle ;  and 
leaving  it,  went  on  with  the  army  to  Mon- 
mouth :  but  while  the  earl  was  with  his  knights 
reconnoitring  this  castle,  the  commander,  Bald- 
win 4e  Guisnes,  sallied  out  with  the  Flemings  and 
Poicterians,  and  charged  them  with  such  fury 
as  had  nearly  proved  fatal  to  the  earl,  and 
was  only  prevented  by  Baldwin  being  badly 
wounded,  which  retarded  his  exertions  and  caused 

I  i 


i  * 

confusion  ;  so  that  the  army  of  his  antagonist 
had  time  to  arrive  to  their  leader's  relief.  Hen- 
ry on  the  whole  was  no  great  gainer  by  his 
efforts  to  control  the  Cambrians,  for  Pembroke 
and  Llewellyn  carried  devastation  every  where 
with  themj  and  procured  favorable  conditions 
pn.  a  peace  :  in  this  reign 


John  de  Monmouth  was   proprietor   of  the 
castle,  who  resigned  it  to 

Edward,  prince  of  Wales  ;    pn   his  surrender 
it   was  granted  to  his  brother, 

Edmund,  Earl  of  Lancaster ;    from   whom  it 
descended  to  his  son, 

Henry   III  ;    who   dying    in    1345,    bis    son 
Henry,   created 

Duke    of   Lancaster,  succeeded ;    who    left 

two  daughters,  Maud  and  Blanch ;  the  former 
dying,  the  property  devolved  on  Blanch,  who 


John   of  Gaunt,  who  of   course  enjoyed  the- 
castle,    and    made   it    his    favourite    residence ; 
as  did  also  his  son   who   became  king  of  En- 
gland, by  the  title  of 

Henry  IV.  whose  son, 

Henry  V.  was  born  here  August  Q,  1387, 
and  surnamed,  in  consequence,  of  Monmouth; 
from  him 

Henry  VI.  but  on  his  attainder 

Edward  IV.  had  it,  and  granted  it  within 
five  years  to 

William  Herbert,  created  earl  of  Pembroke  ; 
but  it  again  reverted  to  the  crown,  and  became 
the  property  of 

Henry  VII.  as  a  parcel  of  the  duchy  of 
Lancaster;  but  on  the  separation  of  several 
estates  from  the  duchy  the  property  has  since 
become  divided,  and  the  castle  has  been  in  the 


Beaufort  family  for  many   years,   and   the  pre- 
sent duke  is  the  proprietor. 

At  this  castle  the  unfortunate  Edward  II. 
\vas  confined,  previous  to  his  removal  to  Ken- 
nilworth  by  his  infamous  queen,  anno  1326. 

Irt  1646  it  was  taken  by  Oliver  Cromwell's 
forces,  but  treachery  had  a  considerable  share 
in  the  business ;  and  it  is  related  that  when 
Oliver  himself  came  afterwards  to  Monmouth, 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Evans  attempted  to 
shoot  him,  but  was  prevented  by  persons  near. 
All  its  high  honours  are  now  buried  in  the 
dust,  and  going  as  rapidly  to  oblivion  as  is 
its  once  celebrated  castle,  of  which  so  trifling 
a  portion  remains,  as  leaves  no  traces  to  know 
its  original  design ;  the  transmutations  of  time 
are  visible  here  in  the  present  mode  of  em- 
ploying scites,  anciently  famous  for  purposes 
widely  different ;  all  hastening  to  the  same 
situation  with  which  so  many  similar  edifices 
in  the  principality  are  found. 

•     TV! 


**  And  e'en  so  fares  it  with  the  things  of  earth 
"  which  seem  most  constant:  there  will  come  the  cloud 
*'  that  shall  enfold  them  up,  and  leave  their  place 
"  a  seat  for  emptiness." 

William  de  Monemtic  or  Monmouth,  is 
said  to  have  brought  over  a  convent  of  Black 
Monks  from  St.  Florence,  near  Salmus  in 
Anjou,  and  placed  them  first  in  the  church 
of  St.  Cadoc,  near  the  Castle,  and  afterwards 
in  the  church  of  St.  Mary;*  at  the  suppres- 
sion by  Henry  VIII.  it  was  valued  at  561. 
Is.  lid.  per  annum.  There  was  an  hospital  of 
the  Holy  Trinity,  founded  by  John  Monconuc, 
in  1240,  and  also  one  to  St.  John.  The  church 
stands  on  the  ground  where  once  the  priory 
stood,  and  is  peculiarly  neat  and  elegant,  both 
within  and  without;  and  the  spire  which  is 
200  feet  in  height,  renders  it  a  conspicuous 
object  from  whichever  point  it  is  viewed, 
among  the  surrounding  enclosures;  on  the 
whole,  this  town  is  an  agreeable  place,  de- 
lightfully situated  between  the  rivers  Monnow 
and  Wye,  and  contiguous  to  the  Trothy : 
over  all  three  there  are  bridges,  and  the  envi- 

*  D.  Williams. 


rons  are  celebrated  far  and  near  for  sylvan 
scenes  and  diversified  beauty ;  the  inhabitants 
are  numerous  and  exceedingly  respectable,  have 
various  modes  of  entertainment,  and  socia- 
bility is  a  just  characteristic  of  the  place. 
Surrounded  in  every  direction  by  the  seats  of 
the  opulent,  and  the  residences  of  the  hospi- 
table, altogether  it  is  a  desirable  situation,  and 
suitable  to  every  rank  in  life. 

Crossing  the  bridge  which  bestrides  the  river 
Wye,  a  lofty  bank  presents  itself,  variegated 
with  fine  coppice  wood  and  smiling  agriculture, 
small  enclosures,  and  the  occupation  of  humble 
industry,  with  a  large  uncultivated  tract  vege- 
tating only  furze,  interrupted  by  huge  masses 
of  rock;  on  the  summit  of  this  hill  is  a 
summer-house  called  the  Kymin,  which,  for 
variety  of  beautiful  prospects,  is  said  to  be 
rivalled  by  few  and  out-done  by  none,  forming 
a  Panorama  of  upwards  of  an  hundred  miles 
in  extent;  the  ascent  to  it  has  had  an  infinity 
of  pains  bestowed  to  render  it,  by  its  windings, 
as  gentle  as  possible;  there  is  an  excellent  road 


for  the  convenience  of  carriages,  with  every 
accommodating  attention  of  seats,  placed  .  not 
only  to  allay  the  fatigue  of  foot  visitors,  but  * 
to  present  some  delightful  feature  of  landscape; 
the  summer-house  is  a  circular  embattled  tower 
of  two  stories ;  in  the  upper  apartment  is  every 
suitable  appendage  to  render  it  commodious: 
parties  either  bring  their  cold  collations,  or 
drink  tea,«  where  proper  regulations  are  made 
for  the  comfort  of  the  visitors,  and  a  small 
gratuity  to  a  neat  woman,  to  make  it  corres- 
pond with  herself. 

At  the  distance  of  sixty  yards  from  the 
Bummer-house,  is  a  national  monument  dedi- 
cated to  fame,  ornamented  with  medallions  of 
several  distinguished  naval  commanders,  and 
emblematical  decorations  of  those  safeguards 
which  are  the  pride  and  boast  of  every  Eng-  • . 
lishman ;  and  at  the  opposite  extremity  of 
the  level  is  the  Beaulieu  grove,  intersected  with 
numerous  shaded  walks.  I  shall  forbear  enu- 
merating a  description  of  the  views,  as  -they 
are  accurately  and  pleasingly  detailed  by  Mr.. 


C.  HEATH,  printer,  at  Monmouth.  The  day 
on  which  I  made  this  visit  was  brilliantly  fine, 
and  the  azure  canopy  added  to  the  tints  which 
were  decking  with  all  the  graces,  undulating 
groves  with  that  congenial  softness  peculiar  to 
a  country  abounding  in  a  sublimity  of  views  ; 
and  the  silvery  stream  of  the  Monnow  was 
uniting  with  the  Wye,  winding  through  dales 
beautifully  interlined,  and  hills  cloathed  with 
various  foliage ;  entering  j  the  grove,  the  traces 
of  the  paths  were  bending  in  innumerable  and 
fanciful  forms,  with  openings  cut  to  unfold 
glimpses  of  delight  to.  the  eye. 

After  wandering  over  its  mazy  windings 
refreshed  by  the  cooling  breezes  of  the  shade, 
at  the  extent  of  one  of  the  most  remote 
walks,  a  well-dressed  female  was  sitting  in  a 
place  which  seemed  formed  for  love  and 
contemplation ;  I  was  hastily  approaching  her 
with  those  respectful  rules  due  to  her  sex,  to 
share  the  pleasure  of  the  scenery,  and  partici- 
pate in  the  grandeur  of  the  subject  surrounding 
the  empire  of  nature ;  but  what  a  chill  did 


my  feelings  suffer,  to  see  her  agitated  by  a 
secret  inquietude,  and  rising  with  an  evident 
wish  to  avoid  me,  (marked  with  a  dignity 
which  not  only  demands  respect,  but  sets 
limits  to  a  love  of  propriety ;)  it  bade  me  retire  : 
but  a  few  steps  had  scarcely  been  measured  for 
that  purpose,  ere  I  felt  a  blush  come  across  my 
cheek,  as  a  tint  of  reproach  for  seeing  a  woman 
in  affliction,  without  attempting  to  mitigate 
her  distress ;  on  this  I  approached,  apologising 
for  intruding  on  her  solitude,  and  assured  her 
it  proceeded  from  the  tumult  of  my  feelings, 
causing  such  a  conflict  to  learn  the  cause  of 
her  dejection,  knowing  well  how  to  feel  for  the 
sorrows  of  others;  whether  my  looks  were  writ- 
ten in  the  characters  of  the  sincerity  of  my 
heart,  I  know  not ;  but  her  animated  fears  fled, 
and  serenity  kept  wandering  over  a  beautiful 
face,  where  the  bloom  of  the  rose  had  yielded 
to  the  delicacy  of  the  lily.  I  soon  found  myself 
imperceptibly  seated  by  her  side,  her  hand  en- 
closed in  mine,  and,  stimulated  by  sympathy, 
urging  a  recital  of  her  woes  by  every  powerful 
effort  of  language  I  was  master  of;  a  tear  stood 

K  k 

trembling  in  her  eye,  as  the  herald  of  her  sor- 
rows, which  she  at  length  detailed  with  so  fas- 
cinating a  voice,  that  made  the  heart  run  a 
considerable  risk  while  listening  to  her ;  here  I 
must  forbear,  lest  it  may  betray  a  confidence 
reposed  in  me,  but  did  I  arraign  my  heart  to 
enquire  what  gave  it  most  pleasure,  it  would 
declare  being  instrumental  in  restoring  happiness 
to  neglected  virtue :  having  seen  her  to  her  resi- 
dence, with  a  parting  tribute,  (as  a  harmless 
mode  of  wiping  sorrow  away)  bade  her  adieu, 
being  repaid  by  the  gratification  of  my  feelings. 

On  leaving  Monmouth,  I  was  desirous  of 
walking  by  the  banks  of  the  Wye  to  Tintern, 
hearing  I  should  be  amply  rewarded  by  the 
enjoyment  of  delightful  scenery ;  having  sent 
my  horse  round,  passed  over  the  Wye  bridge, 
and  pursued  a  rural  foot-path  turning  by  the 
course  of  the  river,  which  soon  brought  me 
opposite  Troy-House,  a  venerable  seat  of  the 
Duke  of  BEAUFORT  ;  its  structure  is  not  re- 
markable for  elegance,  and  only  claims  notice 
from  the  number  of  its  windows,  convincing  it 


was  long  previous  to  the  comforts  for  light 
being  rendered  contributory  to  additional  re- 
sources of  national  revenue ;  the  bed  of  the 
river  was  crossed  by  parallel  ridges  of  rock 
varying  the  capricious  course  of  the  stream, 
and  serving  only  to  make  it  murmur  dis- 
content :  the  meadows  I  was  passing  were  well 
tenanted  by  the  lively  flock  and  lowing  herd, 
giving  animation  and  a  valuable  interest  to  the 
scenes  around :  the  vale  soon  became  con- 
tracted, the  Wye  occupying  nearly  the  whole 
space,  and  opening  a  fresh  scene  of  pleasure  ; 
on  one  side  soft  verdure  enamelled  with  flowers 
fertilizing  the  edge  of  the  banks,  and  intermixed 
with  the  lordly  tenantry  of  stately  trees  ;  the 
other  also  in  foliated  attire  to  the  confines  of 
the  stream,  presenting  vernal  tints  of  light  and 
shade,  not  within  the  limits  of  fancy  to  con- 
ceive. Such  repose  seemed  to  reign  here  as 
could  not  fail  to  waft  the  imagination  from  the 
low  materials  of  modern  gratification  to  soar  to 
ideal  enjoyments  beyond  the  reach  of  terrestrial 
action.  A  few  cottages  were  peeping  from  the 
side  of  the  foot-path,  and  with  the  rustling  of 


leaves,  the  singing  of  birds,  and  murmuring  of 
the  stream,  filled  up  this  romantic  and  soothing 
picture.  I  could  not  resist  looking  back  on  a 
view  blended  with  variety  ;  and  the  lofty  spire 
of  Monmouth  church  greatly  elevated  above 
the  river's  boundary  backed  by  a  distant  range 
of  mountains,  the  fore-ground  beautifully  deco- 
rated by  a  stately  tree  standing  on  the  margin 
of  the  winding  stream,  offered  a  pleasing  shade, 
and  disposed  the  mind  for  powerful  impressions 
of  solitude. 

On  looking  down  the  river  beheld  a  con- 
trast, the  busy  scene  of  Redbrook;  here  active 
industry  exerts  her  efforts,  and  though  essential 
in  itself,  and  productive  of  \vealth,  influence, 
and  consequence,  yet  can  only  be  thought 
(while  viewed  in  such  an  enlarged  situation)  to 
be  rather  an  unwelcome  intruder :  the  bustle 
of  the  iron-works,  from  the  labourers  employed 
in  their  different  avocations,  the  vale  filled  with 
columns  of  dark  smoke,  and  the  silence  inter- 
rupted by  the  noise  of  massive  hammers  echoing 
from  the  opposite  shore,  obliterates  every  plea- 


surable  idea  resulting  from  sequestered  spots :' 
beyond  it  are  Lower  Redbrook's  tin  works  all  in 
gloom,  and  a  mournful  picture  of  misfortune ; 
On  enquiring  a  reason  for  the  stagnation,  heard  it 
was  in  litigation,  the  very  name  made  a  feeling 
sigh  escape,  and  lost  no  time  in  casting  a  look 
on  the  opposite  object  which  was  a  steep  ascent, 
variegated  with  wild  rocks,  stone  quarries,  and 
irregularities,  backed  and  hooded  with  lively 
foliation ;  the  vale  became  increased,  and  the 
hills  pleasingly  tufted  with  numerous  trees,  to 
screen  the  neglected  house  of  Pilson,  was  the 
attempt  of  some,  whose  roof  now  appearing  to 
be  humbled  to  a  small  farm,  the  fate  of  many 
a  manor-house,  where  bounty  was,  it  is  drudgery 
now,  and  carries  still  the  vestiges  of  former  na- 
tional hospitality.  Beyond  and  on  the  opposite 
shore  is  seated  Bix  Weir,  the  mansion  of  Gene- 
ral ROOKE,  M.  P,  for  Monmouth,  a  descendant 
from  the  gallant  admiral  of  that  name3  to  whom 
we  are  indebted  for  the  possession  of  Gibraltar: 
I  felt  a  double  interest  in  beholding  it,  first  as 
it  was  the  residence  of  him  who  had  been  the 
companion  and  sharer  of  perils  with  my  own 


father,  secondly  as  a  character  distinguished  by 
universal  regard,  and  where  merit  had  reached 
the  summit  of  its  profession  ;  'adorned  with  ta- 
lents as  a  commander,  he  possessed  the  art  of 
exercising  his  authority,  hy  acquiring  the  thanks 
of  the  soldiers  and  the  praises  of  the  citizens, 
while  at  Bristol,  where  he  long  resided  as  com- 
mander of  the  Severn  district,  he  received  a  testi- 
mony of  approbation  by  solid  and  valuable  proofs. 
The  scenery  about  it  affords  every  enjoyment 
of  delight  fancy  can  devise,  commanding  all  that 
is  pleasing,  and  all  that  is  grand,  with  the  variety 
of  ornamented  views  for  which  the  river  is  cele- 
brated; the  hills  luxuriantly  mantled  with  wood, 
with  the  castle  and  village  of  St.  Briavel's 
served  as  a  crown  to  dignify  the  whole :  the 
diversified  tinges  of  autumnal  effect,  give  a  pe- 
culiar beauty  to  these  romantic  views,  and  we 
regret  not  the  fading  hue,  whilst  it  contributes  to 
embellish  nature  :  the  occasional  openings  display 
considerable  elegance,  though  seldom  to  a  great 
extent,  but  the  adornings  of  the  country  are 
but  trivial  in  comparison  to  the  wide,  rough 
grandeur  which  frequently  exposes  itself  amidst 


the  wooded  acclivities.  I  had  now  been  some 
time  betwixt  two  lofty  ridges  abundantly  clothed 
with  tufted  trees,  reflecting  on  each  other 
additional  interchanges  of  inexhaustible  beauty, 
and  heightened  by  the  transparent  stream  re- 
flecting the  bounds  which  confined  its  course: 
frequently  I  was  amused  by  the  dexterity  of 
those  fishermen  who  used  the  coricle,  a  some- 
what singular  appearance,  and  apparently  preg- 
nant with  clanger;  the  vehicle  is  calculated  for 
only  one  man,  who  sits  in  the  middle  with  a 
careful  attention  to  the  balance ;  it  is  formed 
of  light  ribs,  secured  by  pitched  canvas,  and 
managed  by  a  paddle  ;  and  certainly  requires  no 
small  share  of  caution  to  conduct  it  with 
precision  and  safety,  and  I  presume  no  timi- 
dity must  be  thought  on  to  encourage  any 
one  to  the  attempt. 

On  leaving  Bix  Weir  the  path  led  rather 
up  the  hill,  consequently  the  view  became 
enlarged,  and  displayed  a  novel  and  singular 
scene  of  a  village  rising  as  it  were  gradually 
to  the  skies,  with  patches  of  inclosure,  and 


apple-trees  intermixed ;  the  acclivity  appeared 
wholly  covered  in  this  surprising  way,  and 
Landego  is  certainly  a  remarkable  scene 
among  the.  multitude  on  this  charming  river; 
wood  and  a  scanty  covering  of  fern  over  the 
stony  face,  was  enclosed  by  a  lofty  bank,  rising 
in  crescent  form  ;  the  side  of  the  river  now  be- 
came very  lofty,  beautifully  romantic,  and  more 
foliated,  its  brush-wood  sweeping  the  hanging 
clouds  as  they  passed  along;  the  carol  of  the 
birds  gave  a  continued  concert,  and  made  na- 
ture appear  to  speak  with  unnumbered  tongues, 
that  I  could  not  resist  creating  a  few  respon- 
ses to  the  plaintive  notes  of  my  flute ;  invited 
by  the  cooling  shade  of  an  orchard  by  the 
side  of  the  stream,  I  neglected  to  turn  off 
at  Brook  Weir,  in  the  regular  path  to  Tin- 
tern,  and  I  believe  rather  unwilling  to  leave 
the  sweet  windings  of  the  transparent  Wye, 
soon  found  myself  beset  on  one  side  by  an 
almost  impenetrable  wood,  and  on  the  other 
rude  stones,  rendered  slippery  from  the  mud 
(left  by  high  tides)  totally  unmarked  by  mortal 
footsteps :  persisting  over  this  slippery  and  trea- 


cherous  path,  in  momentary  expectation  of  a 
cooling  in  the  Wye,  at  length  was  amply 
rewarded  by  the  unparalleled  views  of  Tintern's 
noble  ruins,  forming  a  splendid  object  of  ad- 

miration and  elegance  of  structure  to  a  degree 
of  perfection,  far  exceeding  any  thing  of  the 
kind  I  ever  saw,  ornamented  with  shrubs,  and 
tinted  in  colours  peculiarly  pleasing  to  age. 

After    applying    to    Mr.    GETHIN,    of    the 
Beaufort   Arms,   (who   keeps   the  key)  I  hast- 



ened  to  this  grand  and  interesting  structure, 
witfr  a  mind  filled  with  extreme  delight,  nor 
was  it  bereft  of  ^  the  highest  gratification  on 
beholding  the  west  front ;  a  stately  window 



with  all  its  divisions  complete,  was  serving  as 
conductors  to  train  the  ivy  in;  the  most  dressy 
form,  while  interstices  were  fostering  other 


small  shrubs,  and  making  the  wondering  eye 
almost  transport  the  imagination ;  but  my  plea- 
sure received  a  distressing  interruption  from 
the  number  of  beggars  who  flock  round,  and 
I  must  acknowledge,  the  little  given  never  went 
with  so  ill  a  grace,  as  I  am  almost  ashamed 
to  say,  it  was  not  so  much  from  a  charitable 
view,  as  to  be  disencumbered  from  their  intru- 
sion on  my  contemplation ;  never  can  I  erase 
from  remembrance  the  sensation  I  felt  on  be- 
holding the  Interior  of  the  abbey,  on  the 
opening  of  the  western  door,  and  how  very- 
far  my  expectation,  was  exceeded ;  I  felt  lost 
by  the  elegance  of  the  ruins  in  their  peaceful 
sequestered  spot,  ornamented  by  the  wonderful 
and  bounteous  hand  of  nature; .--it  was  truly 
picturesque,  and  kept  in  a  state  of  perfection, 
equalled  by  1*0  other  desolated  pile  ;  a  level, 
closew  shorn,  grassy  surface  was  giving  neatness 

to  the  whole,  and   serving  as  a  safeguard  to  the 

peaceful  remains  of  those  it  was  sheltering  :  no 


vestige  of  its  roof  was  remaining  ;  its  walls  richly 
ornamented    with    shrubs,    and    wreathing    ivy 


hanging  in  graceful  garlands ;  on  the  southern 
side  a  massive  breadth  was  spreading  from  the 
top  to  the  bottom  in  the  most  fanciful  ring- 
lets ;  and  the  pillars  and  arches  displaying 
much  gothic  elegance,,  adorned  by  creeping 
and  small  foliage:  can  I  forget  -the  : east  win- 

-'("«   uj 


•' •','}'.'  ; 


dow?  no — never  ! — and  perhaps  such  a  speci- 
men of  exquisite  workmanship  the'  world  never 
exhibited  as  this,  when  perfect,  still  so  beauteous 
now  in  decay ;  it  has  amazing  power  to  fascinate 
the  senses,  but  must  to  a  certainty  preclude  a 
true  conception  of  its  original ;  the  remaining 
centre  bar  is  perfect,  which  when  seen  at  a 
distance  appears  singularly  taper,  but  on  ap- 
proaching is  found  of  such  a  thickness  as  to 
create  surprise  at  the  deception ;  through  this 
arch  the  richly  clothed  hill  is  strikingly,  grand, 
and  gives  a  noble  effect  to  the  internal  parts 
of  the  pile ;  but  here  my  pen,  conscious  of 
its  inability,  drops  from  my  hand;  I  take  the 
hint,  and  resign  the  task  to  those  gifted  with 
the  powers  of  fascinating  language  to  do  it 
justice ;  the  day  was  most  favorable  to  my 
visit  here,  and  I  felt  exhilarated  by  being 
screened  from  the  effects  of  the  sun,  but 
the  feathered  creation  enjoyed  its  blessing,  and 
were  chaunting  their  praise  :  never  was  a  situ- 
ation so  placed  for  religious  retirement,  and  in 
every  respect  so  'suitable  for  the  purposes  of 
the  fabric,  and  we  may  imagine  the  monks  of 


Tintern   to   express  themselves  in  terms  similar 
to  those  of   the  plaintive   bard: 


"  Oh  sacred  solitude  !  divine  retreat  I 

"  Choice  of  the  prudent !  envy  of  the  great ! 
"  By  thy  pure  stream,  or  on  thy  waving  shade, 
"  We  court  fair  wisdom,  that  celestial  maid  : 

"  The  genuine  offspring  of  her  lov'd  embrace, 

f          . 
"  (Strangers  on  earth,)  are  innocence  and  peace : 

"  Here  from  the  ways  of  men  laid  safe  ashore, 
"  We  smile  to  hear  the  distant  tempest  roar ; 
"  Here  blest  with  health,  with  business  unperplex'd, 
"  This  life  we  relish,  and  ensure  the  next." 


Although  the  roof  has  fallen  in,  the  interior 
of  the  building  may  be  very  well  conceived  : 
the  arches  and  pillars  of  the  choir  are  now 
standing,  with  only  the  marks  of  age  and  deco- 
rations of  nature ;  and  where  some  of  the 
columns  have  tumbled,  the  corresponding  still 
stand,  so  that  a  person  need  be  at  no  loss  for 
the  form  or  ornament  of  the  structure;  the 
shape  of  the  west  window  is  yet  entire,  and 
most  part  of  the  frame  work  remains,  nor  will 
any  hesitation  ensue  to  pronounce  the  taste 
and  beauty  to  have  been  extremely  judicious 
and  grand  ;  the  (  fond  ivy'  clings  to  the  bars,  and 


the  sides  are  enwrapt  in  the  closest  manner, 
nay,  nearly  the  whole  of  this  beauteous  relic 
is,  more  or  less,  covered  by  masses  uncom- 
monly large  of  the  faithful  attendant  on  age 

and  decay ;  an  indistinct  echo,  produced  by 
the  Wye  breaking  over  protuberances  of  rock 
which  interrupt  the  stream,  made  me  feel  a 
pleasure  in  sitting  unseen,  and  enjoying  the 
pleasing  pensive  ideas  which  crouded  on  the 
mind,  by  viewing  the  objects  around,  where 

"  August  and  hoary,  o'er  the  sloping  dale, 

"  The  gothic  abbey  rears  its  sculptur'd  tower* ; 

"  Dull  through  the  pile  resounds  the  whistling  gale, 

"  And  solitude  among  the  pillars  low'rs. 

"  Where  yon  old  trees  bend  o'er  a  place  of  graves, 

"  And  solemn  shads-  the  ruin's  sad  remains, 

"  Where  yon  close  ivy  through  the  window  waves, 

"  And,  twining  round,  the  hoary  arch  sustains." 

The  guide  who  attends  the  visitors,  generally 
presents  them  with  the  following  account  of  it 
for  their  perusal : — f  This  abbey,  dedicated  to 
'  God  and  the  virgin  Mary,  was  founded  about 
'  the  year  1131  by  Walter  Fitz-Richard  de  Clare, 
4  lord  of  Caerwent  and  Monmouthshire.  Richard 


'  de  Clare,  surnamed  Strongbow,  nephew  to  tha 
e  founder,  gave  divers  lands  and  privileges  to  the 
e  abbot  and  monks  hereof,  who  were  of  the  Cis- 
'  tercian  order,  obliging  them  to  pray  for  their 
f  souls,  and  those  of  his  and  his  wife's  ancestors. 
'  Roger  de  Bigot,  earl  of  Norfolk,  added  to  these 

*  benefactions.     It  has  been  famous  for  the  tombs 

*  and  monuments  of  several  great  persons  ;  prin- 
s  cipally  of  the  aforesaid  Walter  de  Clare ;  Gilbert 
c  earl   of    Pembroke,    brother    to   the  founder ; 
'  Walter  earl  of  Pembroke,  and  Marshal  of  Eng- 
r  land;  and  his  brother  Anselm,  last  earl  of  that 
6  family;    William   Herbert,    earl   of  Pembroke, 
'  who  being  in  the  disputes  between  the  houses 
e  of  York  and  Lancaster,  was  taken  prisoner  in 
'  Banbury  fight,  and  being  beheaded,  lies  buried 
'  here.' 

The  above,  though  a  short  history,  is  nearly 
all  that  can  with  certainty  be  obtained;  this, 
like  many  other  places,  having  had  its  archives 
lost  or  destroyed:  in  all  likelihood  a  valuable 
account  of  it  shared  the  fate  of  the  Ragland 
library  in  Cromwell's  devastation  ;  e  its  length  is 


c  73  yards,  the   breadth  of  the  body   13    yards 
'  and  a  half,  of  the  north  aisle  6,  and  the  south 
'  aisle    6 ;'    on  the    whole,    the   visitor    will    find 
abundant  gratification   in    viewing   the   magnifi- 
cent  pile,   and    cannot  fail    of  receiving   strong 
impressions  of  sorrow  to   witness   the   decay  of 
the  superb  structure,   the  mutilated  figures  and 
monumental  records  scarce  perceivable  from  the 
general   mass ;  the   united   effects  of  nature  and 
art   give   great  scope    to   the    flights    of    fancy, 
though  propriety  is  no  where  to  be  unobserved, 
unless   the   circumstance   of  the  smooth  surface 
we   tread   on,   should    be  thought   an   improper 
appendage  to  the  surrounding  walls  ;  setting  this 
aside,  nature  '  has  made  it   her  own,  and  works 
incessantly  with   her  curious   hand   to   heighten 
veneration;    all  its   adornments   are   wonderfully 
attractive,  and  when  glowing  in  the  colour  of  a 
setting  sun  there  are  but  few  to  equal  it,  none 
to  exceed ;   and   we   may   gaze   with   increasing 
admiration   and    delight :   so    charming  are    the 
surrounding    scenes  as    to    leave    nothing  to  be 
wished   for  by   a   contemplative   mind,    and   all 
contribute    to     inspire    the    soul    with    serious 

M  m 


thoughts,  divested  of  the  cares  of  the  active- 
world,  and  foregoing  with  its  toils  all  its  diffi- 
culties; amidst  this  desolated  heap  the  memory 
adverts  to  previous  eras,  and  pictures  the  fel- 
lowship of  the  religious  within  these  walls,  who 
to  regular  attendance  on  their  profession  added 
hospitality  to  the  wandering,  and  the  virtue  of 
the  sage  to  the  familiarity  of  the  generous  :  to 
the  frivolous  or  gay  the  austerities  of  a  monastic 
life  must  appear  with  great  severity,  and  truly 
it  required  considerable  resolution  to  adhere  to 
principles  with  such  apparent  strictness;  how  far 
there  was  any  inconsistent  behaviour  I  am  not 
enabled  to  say,  but  judging  from  the  rules  and 
habits  which  they  bound  themselves  to  con- 
tinue in  the  practice  of,  and  the  known  advan- 
tages of  which  the  neighbourhood  of  monasteries 
reaped  the  benefit ;  one  cannot  but  admire  their 
institution,  nor  rashly  condemn  the  whole  for 
the  bad  conduct  of  the  few ;  the  Cistertian 
order,  of  which  Tintern  was  an  establishment, 
had  the  following  routine  :  their  dress — '  a  white 
'  cassock  with  a  narrow  scapulary,  and  over  that 
*  a  black  gown  when  they  went  abroad,  but  a 


f  white  one  when  they  went  to  church;  to  rise 
'  at  midnight  to  go  to  matins,  which  continued 
'  two  hours  and  a  half,  after  which  retire  to 
'  rest  for  an  hour  or  two,  then  rise  again  to 
f  meditate,  and  sing  what  they  call  prime,  then 
f  work  in  the  garden  for  two  hours  more,  then 
e  sing  terce  and  high  mass,  then  dinner,  after 
6  which  was  half  an  hour  recreation :  during  the 

*  rest  of  the  day  they  iiad   three  separate  times 
f  for  church,  to  sing  vespers,  nones,   and  com- 

*  pline ;  thus  they  could   seldom  or   never  have 
6  three    quarters    of   an    hour    to    themselves ;' 
such  being  the  case,  we  cannot  be  surprised  at. 
their  choosing  a  place  in    profound   retirement, 
uninterrupted  by  the  confusion  and  turbulence, 
inseparable    from    towns    or    iarge   associations. 
.Nothing   could   be   more   suitable  for   monastic 
duties  than  this  spot,  \vhere  all    nature   assisted 
to    inspire    them,    and    so    congenial    to    their 

"  So  to  the  dark  brr>w*d  wood,  or  sac'red  mount, 
"  In  ancient  days,  the  holy  seers  retired; 
"  And,  kd  in  vision,  drank  at  Siloe's  fount, 
•"  WJiile  rising  ecstacies  their  bospms  fired." 


In  the  neighbourhood  of  this  monastic  edi- 
fice, and  but  a  short  distance, '  is  the  manu- 
factory for  making  wire,  and  well  worth  a 
stranger's  trouble  to  visit,  who  has  not  already 
se.en  such  a  process ;  the  wonderful  increase  of 
iron  works  in  this  and  the  adjoining  counties 
reflects  great  honour  on  the  undertakers  and 
improvers  of  the  art,  and  the  different  purposes 
to  which  that  pliable  and  useful  metal  is  appro- 
priated are  innumerable.  One  of  the  essential 
matters  is  here  exhibited,  and  carried  on  with 
considerable  spirit  and  ingenuity;  from  the  pre- 
sent mechanical .  mode  of  conducting  it,  not 
only  a  much  larger  quantity  can  be  done  in  a 
given  time,  but  the  labour  of  the  man  is  con- 
siderably eased,  and  the  facility  with  which  the 
art  is  conducted  is  amusing  and  gratifying; 
indeed,  to  the  contrivances  of  men  of  genius 
by  inventing  and  aiding  the  powers  of  mechan- 
ism, is  to  be  attributed  the  surprising  growth 
of  trade  to  which  the  kingdom  has  arrived,  and 
the  superiority  of  the  commodities  for  regula- 
rity, beauty,  goodness,  and  cheapness,  so  as  to 


become  in  quality  and  materials  the  admiration 
of  every  nation:  to  describe  with  accuracy  the 
system  of  the  performance  here  under  consider- 
ation is  beyond  my  power,  but  no  denial  is 
given  to  persons  desirous  of  viewing  the  whole 
performance  from  the  thick  iron  bar  to  the 
finest  wire ;  and  the  expedition  used  in  the 
various  departments,  is  not  the  least  curious. 
A  party  of  ladies  having  come  by  water  from 
Chepstow,  obligingly  offered  me  a  seat  in  the 
boat  on  their  return  to  that  place  ;  and  my 
deficiency  of  description  of  the  Wye's  romantic 
banks  must  be  allowable,  when  my  attention 
was  devoted  not  only  to  the  charms  of  their 
persons,  but  by  the  attractive  powers  of  their 
minds.  I  had  hitherto  been  rambling  amidst 
agreeable  scenes,  and  charmed  by  the  company 
of  pellucid  streams,  it  now  became  eminences 
clothed  with  wood  from  the  base  to  the  sum* 
mit ;  and  in  parts  where  pasture  was  predomi- 
nant, crowded  by  the  woolly  tribe  and  lowing 
kine  ;  then  my  ideas  were  pleased  on  viewing 
the  perfections  of  nature,  and  the  elegance  of 


art,  at  such  times  as  I  was  offered  the  sight 
of  a  mansion;  pleasing  impressions  were  grafted 
•on  my  mind,  heightened  by  the  frequent  glooms 
which  overspread,  when  enclosed  between  the 
high  and  waving  hills  ;  but  from  Tintern  new 
objects  presented  themselves,  and  all  the  grand, 
all  the  awful,  were  multiplying  on  my  astonished 
senses.  My  language  can  but  ill  describe  the 
sublimity  apparent  in  every  sinuous  course  of 
the  river,  and  the  *  rude  rough  grandeur,'  so 
conspicuous  ;  the  variety  of  their  forms  imagi- 
nation can  easily  assimilate  to  ruins,  castles, 
walls,  &c ;  and  where  the  rock  is  hidden,  it  is 
by  the  luxuriant  covering  of  a  beauteous  vege- 
tation; ledges  apparently  of  trifling  width  were 
decorated  by  trees  of  such  a  size  as  to  create 
no  small  surprise  from  whence  nourishment  could 
t»e  procured  to  their  wandering  roots.  Nature 
seemed  here  to  put  the  finishing  hand  to  her 
works,  and  convince  the  boasting  pride  of  man 
how  much  superior  she  shines  in  her  display  : 
such  an  assemblage  of  scenery  in  all  the  charms 
of  splendor  made  ample  amends  for  the  discor 


louring  effect  of  the  tide  on  Wye's  pure  stream  ; 
nor  did  the  dignity  of  the  towering,  abrupt 
precipice,  suffer  from  the  intrusion  of  Severn's 
rolling  current :  all  assaults  baffling,  what  could 
equal  the  sight  ?  nothing  of  art ;  for  though  in- 
several  parts  the  view  was  bounded,  and  some- 
times abruptly,  still  the  next  turn  presented 
additional  matters  for  observation  and  admiration ,. 
and  tlie  whole  course  of  this  enchanting  river 
seemed  to  me  as  nature's  Lvceum  to  exhibit 


her  beauties,  capriciousiiess,  and  sublimity  ;  every 
object  apparently  assuming  a  new  shape,  a  new 
complexion,  with  every  variation  of  the  sun, 
whose  splendid  effects  in  some  places  were  re- 
flected with  such  power  that  the  gazer  could  not 
immediately  distinguish  the  object. 

I  could  not  think  of  leaving  this  country 
without  visiting  Piercefield,  or  having'  it  said  I 
passed  down  the  Wye  and  neglected  that  famed 
feature  of  the  stream ;  after  having  rode  to  Wynd 
Cliff,  at  the  extremity  of  the  pleasure-grounds,  I 
sent  back  my  horse ;  the  day  was  uncommonly 


calm,  and  all  nature  was  gilded  by  the  radiance  of 
the  sun,  glittering  on  a  variety  of  Unbounded 
objects,  and  arrayed  in  her  gaudiest  dress  : 
looking  up,  the  meandering  river  was  separa- 
ting declivities  clothed  with  hanging  woods  from 
the  top  to  the  bottom,  and  abrupt  masses  of 
towering  rock  bedecked  with  ornamenting  vege- 
tation;  beneath,  the  Wye  was  circumscribing  a 
large  tract  of  beautiful  meadows  and  tastefully 
laid-out  encloures,  resembling  in  form  a  horse- 
shoe :  the  view  down  the  stream  was  embellished 
by  thick  wood,  though  broken  in  parts  ;  and 
through  these  openings  bold  upright  excrescences 
of  rock  were  seen,  (called,  from  their  number,  the 
Twelve  Apostles  and  St.  Peter's  Thumb ;)  this  is 
a  remarkable  scene,  and  the  abruptness  of  their 
appearance  is  peculiarly  pleasing  ;  indeed,  there  is 
no  end  to  the  fancies  of  nature,  and  where  she  is 
not  really  useful,  she  is  diverting.  From  one- 
view  we  perceive  the  Wye  as  five  distinct  bodies 
of  water  ;  one  is  bathing  the  rock  on  which 
Chepstow  castle  is  seated;  and  the  rest  are 
obstructed  from  the  sight,  as  one  whole,  by 

intervening  lofty  cliffs  or  bold  heights  clothed 
with  a  profusion  of  luxuriant  wood;  passing 
Chepstow,  it  is  seen  in  serpentine  windings  until 
it  reaches  the  rapid  Severn,  and  unites  to  separate 
the  adorned  hills  of  Gloucestershire  and  Somer- 
setshire. A  great  part  of  Wiltshire  serves  to 
form  a  distant  view,  observable  and  pleasing. 
Here  is  such  an  assemblage  of  beauty  and  variety, 
that  there  is  no  fixing  the  attention  to  one  par- 
ticular spot  for  any  length  of  time,  but  attractions 



elsewhere,  and  of  equal  claim  to  notice,  will  most 
assuredly  force  themselves  on  you. 

After  having  attempted  a  drawing  of  this  en* 
chanting  view,  I  soon  found  how  deficient  it 
was  in  picturesque  effect,  from  my  too  great 
elevation  above  the  objects ;  and,  disgusted  with 
my  performance,  shut  my  book,  overwhelmed 
by  a  cloud  of  delightful  melancholy,  which  was 
pleasingly  dispelled  by  the  unexpected  appearance 
of  some  gentlemen  to  whom  I  was  known,  who 
had  come  hither  with  the  like  intention  of  per- 
ambulating the  walks.  At  their  request  I  joined 
the  party,  attended  by  a  person  with  a  bugle  horn ; 
this  was  an  unlooked-for  addition,  nor  did  I  ever 
hear  the  effect  of  sound  so  long  in  its  decrease, 
and  from  other  situations  reverberating  in  such 
numerous  replies  from  rock  to  rock,  fading  and 
softening  to  the  lowest  whisper.  The  walks  are 
cut  on  the  brinks  of  the  cliff,  forming  the  most 
delightful  labyrinths,  with  alcoves  and  numerous 
resting  places,  each  unfolding  an  infinity  of  rich 
<ropc,  and  imbibing  the  perfuming  fragrance  from 
rich  vales  below,  while  waving  wood-',  broad 


white-faced  rocks,  and  mountain-tops,  with 
streams  and  villages,  are  all  one  scene  of  mag- 
nificence and  delight.  All  this  owes  its  origin, 
as  an  improved  place,  to  Valentine  Morris,  who 
inherited  it  as  a  paternal  estate;  and  1752  may 
be  dated  as  the  era  when  the  peculiar  beauties  of 
the  place  became  attractive,  from  his  taste  and 
industry  :  although  the  place  was  inhabited^  for 
200  years  previous,  yet  its  elegance  and  advan- 
tages were  not  perceived,  or,  if  known,  not 
attended  to.  Pity  must  cast  a  covering  over  the 
blemishes  of  its  worthy  introducer,  and  the 
affection  of  all  ranks  value  the  name  of  the 
man,  and  the  humanity  of  his  heart.  This  place 
is  now  the  property  of  W.  WELLS,  Esq.  who  is 
making  considerable  additions  to  the  mansion  • 
and,  no  doubt,  will  render  these  scenes  as 
interesting  as  any  of  the  numerous  princely 
abodes  for  which  this  kingdom  is  famous. 

I  now  returned  to  Chepstow,  which  is  advan- 
tageously situated  for  navigation  and  trade,  being 
only  a  little  more  than  two  miles  from  the  Severn 
Sea  or  Bristol  Channel ;  and  the  several  vessels 


afloat  and  on  the  stocks  warrant  the  idea  of 
considerable  traffic  being  carried  on.  Leland 
seems  inclined  to  think  that  the  place  has  arisen 
from  Caerwent :  his  words  are,  "  A  great  lykely- 
"  hood  ys,  that  when  Carguent  began  to  decay, 
"  then  began  Chepstow  to  flourish,  for  yt  stand- 
<c  eth  far  better,  as  upon  Wy  there  ebbing  and 
<e  flowing  by  the  rage  coming  out  of  Severn,  so 
<f  that  to  Chepstow  may  cum  greate  sheppes." 
The  name  implies  a  Saxon  origin,  and  undoubt- 
edly this  town  has  been  used  as  a  navigable  depot 
from  their  time  :  it  is  now  in  a  flourishing 'state, 
and  has  a  trade  to  Norway,  Russia,  and  Oporto  ; 
it  is  certainly  advantageous  in  one  respect,  which 
is,  the  depth  of  the  river,  capable  of  floating 
ships  of  700  tons  burthen ;  and  its  contiguity  to 
Bristol  may  be  one,  and  the  chief,  reason  of  its 
not  having  a  greater  share  of  importation.  It 
sends  large  quantities  of  timber  to  the  royal 
dock-yards,  and  also  iron,  bark,  cyder,  &c. 
to  foreign  ports.  A  vessel  regularly  sails  for 
Bristol  every  Tuesday,  and  returns  on  Thursday 
or  Friday.  The  bridge  which  connects  this  place 
with  the  opposite  shore,  is  of  timber :  one  half 


supported  by  stone  piers,  the  other  by  wooden ; 
but  in  the  centre  a  large  one  of  stone  separates 
the  two  counties,  and  each  side  repairs  its  own ; 
the  construction  is  similar  to  that  at  Caerleon, 
and  on  passing  over  it  at  low  water,  the  effect  is 
truly  tremendous  from  the  great  depth  to  the 
river.  The  present  church  stands  on  the  scite 
of  an  old  priory,  of  which  the  edifice  is  now  a 
part :  the  curious  will  find  great  delight  from 
the  west  door,  exhibiting  such  a  fine  specimen  of 
Saxon  workmanship,  and  indeed,  the  whole  struc- 
ture is  an  elegant  piece  ;  but  the  principal  matter 
to  excite  attention  in  Chepstow,  is  the  remains 
of  its  castle,  of  which,  though  a  large  part  has 
fallen  to  decay,  or  been  appropriated  to  other 
uses,  yet  a  large  portion,  tolerably  well  taken  care 
of,  still  remains  :  having  shared  with  its  brethren 
the  troubles  of  all  the  broils  this  country  has 
undergone,  we  cannot  be  surprised  at  the  variety 
of  forms,  ornaments,  and  architecture,  which 
it  exhibits,  every  possessor  adding  or  altering,  as 
fancy  or  circumstances  suited  :  its  gateway  has 
a  venerable  appearance,  and  perhaps  is  the  most 
perfect  of  the  whole  pile  :  it  is  seated  on  a  high 


and  perpendicular  rock,  commanding  the  river, 
and  overlooking  a  large  tract  of  country,  from 
whence  it  seems  impregnable,  and  assumes  a 
dignity  in  consequence. 

"  High  on  the  rock  (which  casts  a  dark'ning  shade 

"  Around  the  craggy  bank)  the  castle  rears 
«'  Its  crumbling  turrets :  still  its  towering  head 
"  A  warlike  mien,  a  sullen  grandeur  bears." 

Few  places  have  been  more  the  subject  of 
controversy  than  Chepstow  Castle,  as  to  its 
original  name;  and  considerable  pains  on  both 
sides  have  been  bestowed  to  substantiate  the 
argument ;  some  calling  it  Strigul,  others  Chep- 
stow. There  is  not  far  off  a  ruin  of  a  castle, 
bearing  the  name  of  Strigul,  but  whether,  on  the 
forsaking  of  that  in  early  days,  this  assumed  the 
appellation,  is  hard  to  determine.  The  Norman 
seems  to  have  taken  care  of  the  pile,  and  with 
the  usual  decorations  did  not  neglect  conveni- 
ence; the  apartments  were  numerous,  and  of 
considerable  size,  and  the  whole  strongly  defended 
by  the  accustomed  mode  of  the  time  ;  the  walls 
exhibit  specimens  of  hardness  and  mixt  materials  ; 
and  Roman  bricks  constituted  a 'part,  which  has 


given  rise  to  many  conjectures,  (but  these  most 
probably  were  brought  from  Caerwent,)  from 
which  an  opinion  has  been  entertained  that  it 
owes  its  date  to  that  nation,  though  no  coins,  or 
other  materials  have  been  discovered;  and  nume- 
rous other  evident  proofs  set  aside  the  probability 
of  their  having  any  concern  in  the  structure. 

The  general  appearance  of  the  castle  is 
Norman,  and  Wilhelminus  Comes  is  mentioned 
as  builder  of  it  when  this  part  of  the  kingdom 
came  under  their  conquest.  In  the  reign  of 
Henry  I.  it  became  the  property  of  Gilbert 
Strongbow,  earl  of  Pembroke,  and  by  continued 
descent  is  now  the  property  of  the  Duke  of 
BEAUFORT.  The  most  remarkable  era  of  it  was 
at  the  troubles  of  Charles  I.  having  been  reserved 
on  the  part  of  the  ting,  it  was  compelled  to 
surrender  to  the  parliament's  forces  under  colonel 
Morgan  ;  it  was  afterwards  surprised  and  retaken 
for  the  royalists,  by  Nicholas  Kemys,  in  whose 
possession  it  was  besieged  by  Cromwell  in  person, 
without  effect :  on  his  departure  he  entrusted  the 
conduct  of  the  siege  to  colonel  Ewer,  who,  with 


a  small  detachment  of  artillery,  seven  companies 
of  foot,  and  four  troops  of  horse,  continued  the 
siege  till  the  want  of  provisions  necessitated  its 
brave  defenders  to  capitulate;  they  refusing  to 
surrender  whilst  any  prospect  of  defence  or  escape 
encouraged  them:  but  that  hope  was  wrested 
from  them  bv  a  soldier  of  the  parliament's  army 
swimming  across  the  river,  and  cutting  away  the 
boat  by  which  they  meditated  their  escape.  Sir 
Nicholas  Kemys  was  slain  during  the  arduous 
endeavour  to  serve  his  royal  master :  and  com- 
manding a  force  only  of  lOo  men,  reflects 
high  honor  on  his  name. 

A  tower  in  this  celebrated  place  became 
afterwards  the  prison  of  Henry  Marten,  one  of 
the  judges  who  sat  on  the  trial,  and  condemned 
his  sovereign  to  death.  He,  however,  escaped 
the  fate  due  to  a  regicide,  which  several  of 
his  brethren  shared,  by  losing  their  lives.  The 
several  accounts  of  the  rigor  he  suffered  are 
erroneous ;  and  the  authors  most  to  be  relied 
on  all  unite  in  the  clemency  of  his  imprison - 
mentj  being  allowed  liberty  to  a  certain  extent 


.without* the  walls,  and  even  was  noticed  by,  and 
visited,  the  family  of  St.  Pierre,  until  his  traiter- 
ous  language  compelled  that  patriotic  family  to 
forbid  him  their  hospitable  roof.  As  to  his 
conveniences,  spectators  need  only  visit  the 
tower,  and  they  will  find  many  remains  of 
matters  consistent  only  with  a  superb  mansion ; 
and  I  believe  many  persons  of  property,  and 
liberty  too,  cannot  boast  of  such  a  liberal  and 
delightful  situation.  This  famed  person  remained 
here  for  2O  years;  he  died  suddenly  at  his  din- 
ner, aged  78,  and  was  buried  in  Chepstow 
church-yard,  where  is  his  monument;  and  an 
epitaph  written  by  himself,  may  be  seen. 

Leaving  Chepstow  after  passing  over  its  wooden, 
bridge,  ascended  a  steep  hill,  until  I  reached  the 
turnpike-gate,  when,  turning  to  the  right,  took 
the  road  for  the  Old  Passage  ;  here  the  view  un- 
folded a  beautiful,  rich,  and. animated  prospect. 
In  front,  the  Wye  winding  up  to  the  town  of 
Chepstow ;  its  surface  nearly  obscured  by  the 
busy  employ  of  a  maritime  port,  and  the  ivy- 
embattled  walls  of  its  castle  were  strikingly 

O  o 


pleasing :  in  few  words  it  may  be  said  that, 
from  Chepstow,  the  road  being  on  a  narrow 
neck  of  land,  exhibits  most  features  that  can 
give  landscape- a  beautiful  appearance  where  water 
has  the  chief  display. 

Detached  from  the  town  two*  houses  are  pe- 
culiarly attractive,  from  their  situation,  elegance, 
and  neatness,  and  that  on  the  left  is  the  man- 
sion of  T.  FIDELL,  Esq.  M.  P.  for  Boston.  At 
the  extent  of  a  mile  and  a  half,  reached  the 
Passage  ;  the  views  are  extensive  and  beautiful, 
presenting  the  forest  of  Dean,  Robinhoocl  Hill, 
(under  which  is  the  city  of  Glocester,  &c.)  At 
the  mouth  of  the  Wye,  which  is  only  one  field 
from  Beaehley  (or  the  passage-house,)  are  the 
ruins  of  an  old  chapel  receiving  daily  encroach- 
ments from  that  stream  and  the  Severn ;  little 
of  it  now  remains,  and  those  bones  once  con- 
signed to  consecrated  earth,  no  longer  have  soil 
to  protect  them.  In  the  field  just  spoken  of> 
many  coins  are  said  to  have  been  found  and 
ascertained  to  have  been  Roman,  but  my  re- 
peated enquiries  were  not  able  to  discover  who 


had  any  of  them  ;  it  also  bears  a  tradition  of  a 
battle  having  been  fought  on  the  spot.  The 
breadth  of  the  Severn  at  Beachley  is  one  mile, 
and  the  same  rules  are  to  be  observed  respect- 
ing the  tides  here,  as  at  the  New  Passage ; 
there  being  scarcely  five  minutes  difference  in 
the  gradation  of  the  stream.  The  Aust  cliff, 
under  which  you  land,  is  remarkably  grand,  par- 
ticularly at  high  water;  it  is  a  bold  ^elevation  of 
about  300  feet,  composed  of  a  jjed  clay  inter-* 
spersed  with  narrow  strata  of  the  whitest  ala- 
baster, representing  in  some  places  cement  in 
rude  masonry  ;  there  are  also  carbonate  of  lime 
•with  pyrites,  and  sulphate  of  lime, — carbonate  of 
lime  with  pyrites  and  crystals  of  lime, — daz- 
zling spars  of  sulphate  of  lime, — sulphate  of 
fitrontiiine,— mundic,  &c. 

,  A  pleasant  walk  on  the  brink  of  the  cliff 
will  lead  to  the  beach  on  the  other  side,  and 
each  step  unfolds  an  assemblage  of  that  cha- 
racteristic landscape,  ( I  had  reluctantly  left  ), 
beautifully  combined  and  highly  enriched  by 
woodlands,  making  fancy  appear  extravagant  in 


her  sublimities  of  wood,  water,  hill  and  dale: 
this  is  supposed  to  have  been  one  of  the 
Roman  stations,  but  by  the  most  diligent 
search  I  could  not  observe  the  least  traces  of 
any  work  having  been  thrown  up,  though  na- 
ture had  offered  a  situation  unparalleled,  and 
had  partly  began  a  protection;  but  this  cannot 
be  any  disproof  of  the  Romans  not  occupying 
these  heights,  as  the  Severn  -has  and  is  consi- 


derably  encroaching  on  the  cliff,  so  that  the 
part  probably  once  in  their  use,  is  now  be- 
come mingled  with  its  oozy  beach. 

A  singular  story  is  related  of  the  place  : — • 
*f  When  Edward  the  elder  lay  at  Aust  Clive,  the 
"  heights  of  Beachley  (the  opposite  shore)  was 
tf  occupied  by  Leolin,  a  prince  of  Wales;  the 
"  latter  being  summoned  to  cross  the  Severn  to 
"  a  conference  with  the  king,  he  refused  to 
"  obey,  Edward  therefore  went  over  to  Leolin, 
ff  who,  on  seeing  the  king  in  the  boat,  dis- 
"  robed  himself,  and  leaping  breast-high  in  the 
"  water,  said^  *  Most  wise  king,  your  humility 
?  has  conquered  my  pride,  and  your  wisdom 


c  triumphed    over   my  folly,    mount  upon    that 
c  neck  which  I  have  so  foolishly  exalted  against 
s  you,  so  that  you  enter  into  that  country  which 
'  your  goodness  has  this  day  made  your  own  :* 
"  then   taking  him  upon  his  shoulders  he  made 
"  him    sit   upon   his   robes,  and  joining  hands, 
"  did  him  homage/     The  above   story  was  re- 
corded by  Walter  Mapes,  who  wrote  50O  years 
previously  to   Camden. 

Leaving  Aust  psssage  house,  at  the  distance 
of  about  three  miles  reached  the  road  by  which 
I  came  at  the  early  part  of  my  journey ;  the 
smooth  surface  of  the  Marsh  common  was 
charmingly  contrasted  by  the  wooded  eminence 
of  Black  Horse  Hill,  scattered  with  interesting 
objects  uniting  to  render  the  scene  inexpres- 
sibly delightful,  When  I  before  saw  it,  much 
of  Henbury  was  obscured  ,by  rain,  now  it  was 
glowing  by  a  brilliant  sun,  adorning  the  rich 
display  of  nature  and  art.  On  reaching  the  hill 
above  Westbury,  I  involuntarily  stopt,  and  found 
myself  lost  in  a  fascinating  stare,  as  the  view 
presented  not  only  all  that  was  beautiful,  but 


all  that  was  great, — hills  and  dales  were  scattered 
with  towns  and  villages — noble,  mansions,  or  other 
elegant  edifices  ornamented  by  productions  of 
fertility,  and  as  pleasingly  dispersed.  To  trace 
the  track  of  this  dazzling  scene  by  the  effects 
of  my  pencil  was  impossible,  and  still  more  so 
to  describe  by  the  powers  of  my  pen:  the 
variety  of  beauties  setting  all  language  at  defiance, 
apparently  placed  as  candidates  for  preference; 
in  short,  it  would  justify  the  highest  panegyric 
the  power  of  rhetoric  could  bestow. 

OH  crossing  Durdham-down  beyond  the  turn- 
pike gate  went  on  the  summit  of  St.  Vincent's 
Rock  ;  from  this  elevated  spot  all  nature  seemed 
dressed  in  her  gayest  attire,  and  every  thing  was 
from  hence  seen,  among  her  richest  presents, 
all  conspiring  not  to  be  out-done  by  any  other 
possible  display  :  immediately  under  the  eye  the 
Avon  was  winding  between  the  bold  precipices, 
and  bearing  with  a  superior  pride  several  large 
ships  on  their  return  from  foreign  coasts ; 
innumerable  other  vessels  were  forming  the  pro- 
cession, some  of  them  having  bands,  the  melody 

of  which  was  rebounding  musically  sweet  among 
the  barriers  of  the  majestic  and  romantic  rocks 
or  hanging  woods  crowned  with  stately  trees  : 
the  walks  on  the  borders  of  the  stream  were 
crowded  by  several  groupes  of  figures,  many  of 
whom  were  sincerely  welcoming  the  return  of 
their  friends,  and  wafting  their  sincerity  by  the 
wavings  of  their  handkerchiefs.  Nature  surely 
designed  the  event  as  a  competition  to  all 
rivalship ;  and  the  animated  prospect,  though  it 
disturbed  my  feelings,  triumphed  in  causing  me 
to  confess  the  superiority  over  all  I  had  seen, 
and  yield  the  palm  to  CLIFTON,  where  it  may 
be  truly  said, 

"  Whate'er  of  sweet,  of  simple,  of  sublime, 
"  Of  glade  to  traverse,  or  of  heights  to  climb; 
"  Of  rocks  incumbent,  or  with  vales  below, 
"  Or  stream  majestic  in  meanderings  flow; 
"  Whatever  charm  in  other  scenes  we  see, 
"  Nature,  O  CLIFTON,  here  combines  in  thee !" 


J_  Could  not  take  a  farewell  of  this  work,  without  retracing 
those  historic  sites  famed  for  Roman  prosperity,  when  it 
shone  so  resplendent  in  this  country,  to  subjoin  any 
information  that  might  have  been  discovered  since  my  visit 
last  year. 

Caerwent  first  claimed  the  object  of  my  attention ;  with 
additional  sorrow  I  beheld  the  ravages  made  by  all- destroying 
time,  from  unprotecting  care  j  and  that  little  of  the  tessellated 
pavement,  which  afforded  me  a  representation,  was  now  no 
more ;  silent  regret  made  me  wander  over  every  piled  heap 
with  inquisitive  research,  in  the  hope  of  rescuing  from  a 
similar  fate  any  other  specimen  of  that  nation,  whose  genius 
and  ability  not  only  commanded  respect,  but  received  the 
homage  of  the  Britons,  for  softening  their  manners  and 
teaching  them  the  arts  of  civilized  life.  At  length  a  small 
portion  was  discovered;  pleased  with  the  hope,  I  hastened 
to  the  proprietor,  who  gave  me  permission,  On  assuring  him 


no  fruit-tree  was  on  it;  but  disappointment  soon  attended 
my  exertions,  as  only  a  small  part  of  uninteresting  character 
remained.  The  rest  (I  learned)  having  been  mattocked  up 
about  15  years  since ;  on  expressing  my  surprise,  the  person 
added,  "  In  this  orchard,  Sir,  there  is  a  tessellated  pave- 
"  ment  far  more  beautiful  than  the  one  so  long  the  object 
"  of  admiration,  but,  on  being  discovered,  immediate  orders 
f  were  given  to  have  it  filled  in,  and  two  choice  trees 
"  planted  over  it,  to  guard  it  from  modern  eyes !"  Words 
in  common  use  must  change  their  meaning,  to  express  the 
variety  of  feelings  this  information  gave  birth  to 

My  success  was  more  favourable  at  Caerleon,  where  I  pro- 
cured a  scarce  and  interesting  coin  of  the  emperor  Hadrianus, 
who  (being  the  first  monarch  that  visited  the  acquired  dominion 
of  Britain)  had  it  struck  on  his  return,  commemorative  of 
its  security. 

No.  I,  represents  a  sepulchral  Cirrus,  found  five  feet 
below  the  surface,  which  was  obligingly  procured  for  me 
by  the  Rev.  Mr.  EVANS,  (knowing  I  am  desirous  of  col- 
lecting and  concentrating  in  one  receptacle  all  the  antiquities 
of  the  country  :)  the  difficulties  attendant  on  decyphering 
Roman  inscriptions  from  the  usual  abbreviations,  induced  me 
to  apply  to  the  Rev.  Mr.  LEMAN,  of  Bath,  from  a  knowledge  of 
his  deep-scienced  abilities,  which  rank  so  distinguishedlr 
pre-eminent;  I  shall,  therefore,  avail  myself  of  that  gentle- 
man's friendship,  and  insert  his  obliging  elucidation  : 


Julii  Licii 
Julius  Caterius 

rixit  annos  xxv. 


ammo  libenti 
faciendum  curavij. 

Mr.  LEMAN  adds,  "  Whether  the  name  was  Licius  or 
Livius,  or  the  name  Caterius,  is  of  little  consequence,  and 
must  be  always  doubtful ;  but  the  office  of  the  person  of 
Sub-Centurion,  (or  Optio,)  who  placed  this  monument  to 
the  memory  of  his  friend,  is  very  clear." 

No.  II,  is  the  fragment  of  a  stone,  on  which  is  the  repre- 
sentation of  Ammo  Lilens  Trqjanus,  but  to  what  intent  Trajan's 
willing  mind  was  employed  on  this  occasion,  we  are  to  lament, 
its  mutilated  state  precludes  all  possibility  of  conjecture. 

No.  Ill,  is  part  of  a  brick  two  inches  in  thickness,  with  two 
pointed  edges  resembling  the  teeth  of  a  saw  ;  in  the  centre  in 
relievo,  is  LEGIIAVG  :  denoting  the  work  of  the  Second 
Augustan  Legion;  what  was  the  original  use  or  design,  is 
difficult  to  determine,  as  all  histories  of  Roman  Antiquities 
(that  I  can  find)  bear  no  description  or  resemblance  of  its 



IN    A    LETTEll    FROM 

IF.  worroN  to  BROWNE  WILLIS,  Esq. 

J.  HE  cathedral  church  of  Landaff,  which  is  dedicated  to  St. 
Peter  and  St.  Paul,  stands  in  a  bottom  on  the  north  east  side  of 
a  pleasant  village,  near  the  banks  of  the  river  Taf,  from  whence 
it  takes  its  name.  The  church  is  entire,  as  having  no  cloisters 
about  it,  or  any  other  buildings,  formerly  standing  within  the 
church-yard:  at 'the  west  end  there  are  two  towers,  one  to  the 
south,  which  seems  to  be  as  old  as  the  church,  which  is  open 
\vithin  from  the  top  to  the  bottom.  Tills  tower,  which  now 
looks  ruinous,  had  formerly  coarse  battlements  at  the  top,  most 
of  which  are  down,  with  four  small  pinnacles  at  the  corners. 
The  tower  on  the  north  side  was  built  by  Jasper,  (created  duke 
of  Bedford,  anno  1485)  son  of  Owen  Tudor,  by  Catherine, 
daughter  of  Charles  VI.  king  of  France,  who  married  her  after 
'cccase  of  Henry  V.  This  is  a  handsome  tower,  and  is 
in  pretty  good  repair,  all  but  the  battlements  at  top,  which 
were  elegant  enough,,  and  entire,  til]  the  gn-at  storm  Novera- 


her  27,  1/03,  which  threw  down  two  of  the  corner  pinnacles, 
and  a  good  part  of  the  battlements ;  the  wind  being  southerly, 
threw  the  stones  into  the  church-yard.  This  tower,  which  is 
ascended  by  140  free-stone  steps,  is  in  height,  from  the  lower 
moulding  at  top  to  the  bottom,  29  yards  and  a  half ;  the 
battlements  are  8  feet  deep;  the  square  at  top  is  21  feet  and 
a  half  north  and  south,  and  22  feet  east  and  west  ;  and  at 
bottom,  on  the  west  side,  (where  are  three  handsome  windows 
over  one  another,)  it  is  29  feet  long.  The  front  of  the  church 
to  the  west,  between  the  towers  at  bottom,  is  30  feet :  the 
great  west  door,  which  stands  in  the  middle  between  the  said 
towers,  is  7  feet  and  a  half  broad,  and  10  feet  high,  and  has 
over  it  an  image  of  a  bishop  in  his  pontifical  habit,  which  the 
people  of  the  place  erroneously  suppose  to  be  Bp.  Urban,  who 
lived  in  Henry  the  Ist's  time,  and  built  the  church  that  is 
now  standing.  Mr.  Edward  Lhywd  (the  worthy  Author  of 
the  Archaeologia  Britannica)  who  took  a  draught  of  it  when 
he  was  at  Landaff,  in  his  travels  through  "Wales,  took  it  (as  it 
most  probably  was  design'd)  to  be  the  image  of  St.  Dubritius, 
who  is  reckoned  to  have  been  the  first  bishop  of  this  see. 
Over  the  door  are  three  long  narrow  windows ;  the  middle- 
most of  which  is  20  feet  high,  and  4  feet  broad ;  and  the 
side  ones  are  16  feet  high,  and  3  feet  broad  :  above  them  are  ' 
seven  niches  of  free-stone;  that  in  the  middle  is  the  longest j 
those  on  each  side,  which  exactly  correspond  to  each  other, 
being  three  in  number,  are  higher  one  than  another,  the 
outermost  being  the  shortest.  The  middle  nich  was  once  a 
window,  but  it  is  now  walled  up  :  over  these  is  a  statue  of 
a  king  in  a  nich,  supposed  to  be  Henry  I.  who  then  reigned. 

In  the  old  tower  are  five  windows,  two  under  two,  three 
feet  and  a  half  broad,  and  9  feet  high  a-piecej  and  under 
them  a  fifth,  9  inches  broad,  and  7  feet  high.  In  the  north 
corner,  at  the  west  end,  is  a  stair-case,  by  means  of  which 
there  is  a  communication  to  the  other  tower  and  the  leads 
of  the  church  :  the  height  of  this  tower  is  28  yards ;  it  being 
22  yards  to  the  top  of  the  pediment,  and  6  yards  above.  At 
about  40  yards'  distance  from  this  tower,  South-West  from 
the  church,  stood  heretofore  an  old  tower,  which,  as  appears 
by  the  ruins,  was  42  feet  square ;  the  door,  which  stood 
south  of  the  church  is  13  feet  high,  and  7  feet  broad:  in  it, 
as  'tis  reported,  there  formerly  hung  a  very  large  bell,  called 
St.  Peter's  Bell ;  which  being  taken  down  by  Jasper  Duke 
«f  Bedford,  was  conveyed  to  Exeter,  and  there  exchanged  for 
five  bells,  which  were  hung  up  in  Jasper's  tower. 

As  we  go  into  the  church,  in  the  church-yard,  not  far  from 
the  west  door,  is  an  altar  monument,  about  a  foot  and  half 
from  the  ground,  set  up  in  memory  of  Dr.  Jones,  a  civilian, 
late  chancellor  of  this  diocese ;  who  was  eminent  also  for  his 
skill  in  physic,  which  he  sufficiently  shewed  in  a  learned  dis- 
course, in  Latin,  of  intermitting  fevers  ;  and  also  in  another 
discourse  concerning  Opium,  written  in  English ;  which  arc 
books  very  much  esteemed  by  the  gentlemen  of  that  profes- 
sion. His  epitaph  is  this  : 

Hie  jacet  reneraWs  Vir  JOHANNES  JONES,  L.  L.  D. 
httjus  Dioeceseos  Cancellarius,  qui  Deo  reddidlt  animam  XXII 
Die  4ugusti,  Anno  JSqlittis  MDCCIX.  &tatis  sue?  LXV". 

We  descend  into  the  church  by  seven  or  eight  steps.  The 
towers  within  are  18  feet  long  :  from  thence  to  the  screen  that 
divides  the  nave  from  the  choir,  is  9 1  feet  and  a  half ;  so  that 
the  whole  length  of  the  nave,  from  the  west  door  to  the  screen, 
is  about  1 10  feet.  On  each  side  of  the  nave  there  are  four 
pillars,  exclusive  of  those  that  join  to  the  screen,  and  to  the 
towers ;  in  all,  including  the  pilasters  that  join  to  the  west  end, 
and  those  that  support  the  choir  part,  and  extend  to  the  high 
altar,  there  are  on  each  side,  comprehending  the  length  of 
the  whole  church,  eleven}  but  this  will  be  better  under- 
stood by  the  draught. 

The  breadth  of  the  nave,  from  the  footing  of  the  pillars  it 
29  feetj  the  pillars  at  the  bottom  are  six  feet  square  j  the  two 
side-aisles  are  15  feet  broad  a-piece  ;  so  that  the  whole  breadth 
of  the  church  is  about  65  feet. 

As  far  as  the  first  four  arches  to  the  westward,  the  roof 
within  consists  only  of  couples,  (as  they  are  called  in  this  coun- 
try,) to  which  within  are  framed  circular  beams  of  timber, 
laid  parallel  to  one  another ;  which  is  the  common  way  of 
laying  of  roofs  of  churches  in  South  Wales:  from  thence  to 
the  upper  end  of  the  choir  it  was  formerly  cieled  with  wain- 
scot, which  was  painted  j  but  the  roof  being  ruinous,  the  ciel- 
ing  was  taken  down,  in  order  to  repair  the  timber  some  years 
ago,  which  makes  all  that  part  look  very  naked  :  on  each  side 
of  the  nave,  over  the  pillars,  are  twelve  windows,  by  two  and 
two,  with  five  partitions  between.  The  distance  between  each, 
pillar  at  bottom  is  twelve  feet  from  base  to  base  :  there  are  six; 


arches  in  the  nave,  on  each  side  of  which  the  first  joins  to  the 
tower,  and  the  sixth  to  the  screen  of  the  choir.  The  heighth 
of  the  wall,  over  the  pillars,  from  bottom  to  top,  is  54  feet  ; 
from  thence  to  the  top  of  the  compass-work  may  be  about  ten 
feet  more  ;  so  that  the  heighth  and  breadth  (as  in  several 
other  cathedrals)  seem  equal  :  the  side  aisles  which  answer 
within  one  to  another,  are  SO  feet  high. 

Upon  the  pavement  in  the  nave,  which  is  of  stone,  though 
a  very  sorry  one,  not  far  from  the  west  door,  is  a  grave  stone, 
on  which  there  is  a  crozier  delineated,  with  this  inscription 
round  it  : 

C?ic  facet  £p20i$tcc   3!o!;2jtnfc;  !LIo23,  cufos  aninu  propitt^r 

Close  to  the  second  pillar  on  the  south  side  is  the  font  : 
against  the  fourth  pillar  on  the  same  side,  was  formerly  a 
pulpit,  which  was  taken  down  in  the  great  rebellion. 

Against  the  fourth  pillar  on  the  north  side,  and  so'  on  to  the 
fifth,  stands  the  monument  of  Sir  William  Matthew,  of  Ani- 
dyr,  in  Glamorganshire,  about  one  mile  from  LandafF:  it* 
length,  including  the  palisade  round  it,  is  sixteen  feet  and  « 
half  ;  its  breadth  nine  feet  and  a  half.  It  is  an  altar  monument, 
on  which  lay  the  images  of  a  man  and  a  woman,  curiously 
wrought  in  alabaster  ;  the  man  is  bare-headed,  in  complete 

armour,  with  a  coat  of  mail  under  his  corslet,  and  a  collar  cf  SS  . 


over  it  :  his  gauntlets  are  by  his  right  leg,  and  a  sword  'cross  ; 
at  his  head  is  a  lion,  and  a  monk  with  beads  in  his  hanJ:  his 
helmet  is  his  pillow  j  in  his  left  hand  is  his  dagger,  and  a  sword 
at  his  right  :  on  his  left  side  lies  his  wife,  in  the  same  recum- 
bent posture,  habited  after  the  manner  of  the  timej  the  lappets 
of  her  head  clothes  are  laced,  and  the  lace  gilt.  The  inscrip- 
tion which  is  on  the  edge  of  the  monument  is  this  : 

<&rate  pro  gnimabitf  aatttltelmi  fcTtottljefo  Spilittf,  qui  olrift  nr- 
timo  Die  Sprltf,  A.  D.  M.CCCCC',  utew"  VIII.  f  etiam 
Jencttj  u  cons  aws  quc  Dso  tcooUHt  €bjiiritum.....SDie  QSrnsiE  ..... 
3,  SD.  Spilt"0,  CCCCC»  trice*".  quotum  animator  pcoyttft&w 

On  the  west  side  of  tlie  monument  are  images  in  three 
niches  :  in  the  middle  is  an  escutcheon,  supported  by  a  man 
and  a  woman;  the  arms  are  worn  out,  but  seem  to  hive 
been  quarterly.  On  the  south  side  are  seven  images  ;  every 
second  image  holds  an  escutcheon  j  but  the  arms,  which  were 
originally  painted,  are  not  discernible.  Easterly,  at  the  feet, 
are  four  images,  each  with  an  escutcheon  as  before.  On  thr 
north  side  are  seven  images,  as  on  the  south.  On  some  of  the 
escutcheons  may  be  discerned  three  chevrons  gules,  on  a  field 
argent,  which  are  said  to  be  the  arms  of  Jestin-ap-Gvvrgan-t, 
who  betrayed  his  country  to  the  Norman  knights,  who  came 
hither  with  Robert  Fitz-Hammond,  in  the  reign  of  -William 
Kufns.  Some  of  the  images  at  the  head  are  in  armour  ;  on  the 
sides  and  at  the  feet,  with  beads.  The  whole  is  wrought  m 
nlibastcr,  and  (if  we  consider  the  time)  is  very  curiously  done. 

Near  this  monument,  towards  the  west,  is  a  grave-stone, 
en  which  was  formerly  a  brass  plate,  with  an  inscription  in 
the  Welsh  language  j  half  of  the  plate  is  lost,  the  other  half 
has  been  preserved  by  the  reverend  and  worthy  Mr.  Francis 
Davies,  resident  vicar-choral  of  this  church,  who  did  me  the 
favor  to  communicate  it  to  me  j  to  whom  also  I  am  exceed- 
ingly obliged  for  his  kind  information  in  whatsoever  I  had 
occasion  to  consult  him.  What  is  preserved  of  the  inscription 
is  as  follows : 

Pedwar  [gain  glan  .  . 
fymtheg  kant  yr  h  .  . 
Y  Corff  mivynaf  S  . 
O  Dduw  daeth  Angeu 
Wlllmm  Prys  ai  .  .  . 
O  Dduw  y  lawb  .  .  . 


"  Fourscore  lusty 

"  Fifteen  hundred  and  .  . 
"  The  gentlest  Body  .  .  . 
"  From  God  comes  Death 
"  William  Price  did  ... 
"  From  God  ia  all  . 

The  tradition  is, — That  a  person  of  distinction,  who  livfed  in 
the  mountains,  having  a  desire  to  be  buried  in  the  mother- 
church,  or,  as  they  call  it,  Mam-Eglwys,  was  carried  thither 
by  eighty  men,  who  relived  one  another  by  turns  till  they 


came  to  Landaff :  it  is  said  likewise,  that  there  were  3500 
persons  that  followed  him  to  his  grave.  When  this  man  was 
buried  is  not  known  :  this  however  will,  in  some  measure, 
lead  us  to  fill  up  what  is  wanting  in  this  inscription.  In  the 
first  line,  if  Dynion  be  added  to  the  Pedivar  Igain  glan,  it  will 
signify  eighty  brisk  or  lusty  fellows.  Glan,  in  Welsh,  is  pro- 
perly clean.  It  signifies  sometimes  fair.  Dur  glan  is  clean 
water.  Merch  glan  a  fair  maid.  Metaphorically,  it  is  used 
for  Holy,  as  Yspryd  glan,  the  Holy  Ghost.  Here  glan 
applied  to  Dynion  or  Dyn,  (i.  e.  Man,  or  Men)  may  de- 
note beauty ,  .and  that,  when  it  is  in  youth,  generally  takes 
in  strength.  Pymtheg  Kant  isjifteen  hundred,  if  h  ....  stands 
there  for  hugain,  as  probabjy  it  does,  then  the  three  thousand 
five  hundred  who  attended  at  the  burial,  are  compleat ;  for 
pymtheg  cant  a'r  hugain,  is  three  thousand  five  hundred.  In 
the  third  line,  the  S . . . .  seems  to  be  the  first  letter  of  the 
name  of  the  man  that  was  buried ;  Sion,  is  John,  in  Welsh, 
and  there  is  room  enough  for  Sion  ap  Evan,  or  the  like.  Wil- 
liam Price  was  in  all  likelihood  the  name  of  the  poet  that  made 
this  epitaph ;  for  the  British  bard»  do  now,  and  did  anciently, 
put  ai  cant  (cecinlt)  at  the  end  of  their  compositions,  as  Sion 
ap  Gritffj/dd  ai  cant.  Mredydd  ap  Madau'g  ai  cant.  John 
Griffith,  or  Meredith  Maddocks,  sung  so  or  50.  So  much  for 
this  inscription ;  I  go  on  now  to.  the  rest  of  the  church. 

The  is  nothing  remarkable  in  the  north  aisle  till  we  conic 
to  the  choir,  except  an  elegant  mural  monument  cut  in  black 
marble  near  the  choir,  which,  at  a  distance,  seems  to  consist  of 
••i  table  enclosed  withia  two  fluted  marble  pilasters,  beautified 

with  angels  and  other  ornaments  j  whereas  the  whole  work, 
both  inscription  and  decorations,  are  all  cut  into  the  marble 
itself  without  any  sort  of  relief. 


In  Memory  of  Florence  the  Wife  of  William  Herbert,  of  the 
"White  Friars  in  Cardiff,  Esq.  who  departed  this  Life  Oct.  the 
15th,  1709,  aged  4O  Years. 

In  this  north  aisle,  near  the  west  end,  is  a  door,  commonly 
called  S.  Teilaw's  Door,  through  which,  before  the  Reformation, 
dead  bodies  were  carried  into  the  church  to  be  buried,  it  being 
looked  upon  as  meritorious  to  carry  them  that  way. 

To  the  east  of  S.  Teilaw's  Door,  over  against  the  sixth  pillar, 
is  another  small  door,  which  they  call  the  Prebendary's  Door. 
Between  those  two  doors  are  two  empty  niches  in  the  wall,  in 
which  there  formerly  seem  to  have  been  monuments  and  effi- 
gies of  persons.  The  windows  in  the  north  aisle  do  not  answer 
to  those  in  the  south,  and  there  are  five  irregular  windows,  in 
that  part  of  the  north  aisle,  which  reaches  from  the  west  end 
to  the  break,  that  is  over  the  door  of  the  chapter-house  which 
is  on  the  south. 

The  consistory  court  and  the  chapter- house  join  to  the  south 
aisle.  The  consistory  court  is  near  the  old  western  tower ;  it  is 
a  tolerable  good  room,  15  feet  square  in  the  clear  within,  with 
one  window  six  feet  broad  and  four  feet  high,  and  two  other 
Jcsser  ones  over  that,  one  foot  three  inches  broad,  and  three 


feet  high  apiece.  The  door  that  goes  into  it  out  of  the  south 
aisle  is  of  free-stone  arched.  Between  the  consistory  court 
and  the  tower,  is  one  window  10  feet  high  and  eight  feet  broad. 
From  the  consistory  court  to  the  chapter-house  there  are  five 
handsome  uniform  windows  in  the  south  aisle,  eight  feet  broad 
and  J  5  feet  high.  From  the  body  of  the  church  on  this  side, 
to  the  leads  of  the  south  aisle,  is  26  feet  six  inches.  The 
square  of  the  chapter-house  on  the  outside  is  36  feet;  the  dia- 
meter of  the  pediment  about  eight  feet.  To  the  east,  in  the 
church-yard,  is  a  stair-case,  which  leads  up  to  a  room  over  the 
chapter-house,  in  which  there  is  a  school.  On  the  body  of  the 
church  on  that  side  are  23  battlements ;  on  the  south  aisle, 
between  the  old  tower  and  the  chapter-house,  12 ;  beyond  that 
to  the  end  of  the  south  aisle,  seven.  The  length  of  the  south 
aisle  on  the  outside,  including  the  old  tower,  from  west  to  east, 
may  be  divided  thus :  to  the  pent-house,  or  half  roof,  (as  it  is 
called  in  this  country)  it  is  in  length  14  yards ;  the  pent-house 
takes  up  two  yards  more ;  the  consistory  court  seven  yards ; 
thence  to  the  porch,  nine  yards  j  the  porch  three  yards  and 
one  foot ;  thence  to  the  chapter-house,  1 6  yards.  The  chap- 
ter-house itself  takes  up  eight  yards  six  inches.  The  remaining 
part  of  the  south  aisle  is  16  yards  and  one  foot  j  the  length  of 
the  whole  is  75  yards,  two  feet,  six  inches  :  so  much  for  the 
south  aisle  without. 

There  is  nothing  within  till  we  come  to  the  choir,  except 
a  door  of  a  porch  -which  is  exactly  against  the  Prebendary's 
Door  in  the  north  aisle.  The  porch  is  within  in  the  clear,  in 
length  seven  feet  and  a  half,  in  breadth  six  feet  nine  inches. 


Each  of  these  aisles  are  in  breadth,  from  the  footing  of  the  pil- 
lars on  each  side  to  the  outward  wall,  1  1  feet  and  a  half. 

The  choir  begins  from  the  seventh  pillar,  and  reaches  to  the 
eleventh  5  its  breadth  is  exactly  the  same  with  that  of  the 
nave,  and  is  divided  by  a  screen  from  the  nave  and  the  side 
aisles.  The  stalls  on  the  north  side  are  32  feet  long,  from  the? 
west  end  of  the  screen.  On  the  south  side  the  length  of  the 
stalls  is  27  feet  nine  inches.  The  breadth  of  the  choir,  north 
and  south,  is  32  feet.  The  order  and  inscriptions  of  the  stalls 
is  thus  :  on  the  right  side,  as  one  goes  into  the  choir  out  of  the 
nave  on  the  west  end,  are  these  :  — 

Episcopi,  Faire-Wdl,  alias  Mri.  Clark, 

Tkesaurarij  ,  Faire-Water,  alias   Gullelnu 

Preeeentoriff  Jones. 

ON    THE    SOUTH    SIDE. 

Prel.  de  Cayre,  Ficars  Choral. 

Prel.  S"e  Crucis, 

ON    THE    LEFT    SIDE    OF   THE    DOOR.,  Prel.  de 

Cancellarij,  Prel.  Su  Nicholai,  alias  M" 

Prel.  de  Langwrn.  Mayo. 

ON    THE    NORTH    SIDE. 

Prel.  Sli  Dulritij,   alias      Prel.  S"  Andreas 
Bris,  Lysons,  Vicars  Chord, 


At  the  end  of  the  stalls  on  the  south  side,  is  a.  void  space 
three  feet  and  a  half  long,  after  which  is  the  bishop's  throne., 
built  by  Marshall,  in  Edward  IV's.  time.  It  is  six  feet  long 
and  five  feet  broad.  Thoagh  the  beauty  of  it  is  pretty  much 
lost  by  length  of  time,  yet  it  appears  to  have  been,  when  it  was 
first  made,  a  curious  piece  of  work.  The  back  of  the  throne 
that  fronts  the  choir  is  painted,  and  was  covered  with  lamp- 
black during  the  great  rebellion ;  but  upon  the  restoration  of 
king  Charles  II.  the  black  was  taken  off,  and  the  first  orna- 
ments again  appeared.  If  we  look  upon  it  from  the  south, 
we  see  on  the  right  hand  the  bishop  praying  to  the  blessed 
Virgin,  who  is  ascending  into  Heaven  with  her  hands  in  a 
praying  posture,  supported  by  seven  angels,  one  under  her 
feet,  and  three  on  each  side ;  out  of  the  bishop's  mouth  pro- 
ceeds a  label  inscribed  thus  :  O  Virgo  scandcns  sis  Marshall 
ccelica  pandens.  On  each  side  is  an  angel,  who  seems  to  have 
musical  instruments  to  welcome  her  to  Heaven.  At  the 
bottom  is  another  angel  over  against  the  bishop  who  holds 
up  his  hands. 

The  bishop's  throne  joins  to  the  ninth  pillar.  Beyond  it  is 
a  small  door  that  opens  into  the  south  aisle,  over  against  the 
door  of  the  chapter-house.  At  the  bishop's  throne  there  is  a 
large  half  pace,  from  whence  there  are  four  steps,  with  half 
paces  between  every  step  leading  up  to  the  altar.  Beyond  the 
door  that  goes  to  the  chapter-house  there  are  two  seats,  and 
behind  them,  in  a  nich  in  the  wall,  lies  a  bishop  in  his  Pontifi- 
calilms,  in  a  recumbent  posture,  in  free-stone.  They  told  me 
it  was  St.  Teilaw's  tomb  ;  but  the  work  does  not  seem  to  be 


above  400  years  old  j  and  besides,  the  present  church  was  built 
several  ages  after  St.  Teilaw's  death.  However,  it  is  very 
probable  it  might  be  erected  to  his  honour  by  some  of  his 
successors,  and  that  here  might  have  been  an  ancienter 

From  the  throne  to  (he  rails  is  28  feet  three  inches,  from 
thence  to  the  altar  nine  feet  six  inches.  Within  the  rails  are 
three  plain  grave-stones  of  free-stone ;  on  the  outwardmost 
of  which,  lying  toward  the  south,  is  this  inscription  round 
the  edge: 

HUGO  LLOYD,  Landavensis  Episcopus  oliit  septimo  Die 
Mentis  Junij  An.  Dom.  iGGj.  Anno  jEtatis  sues  78,  Annoque 
Consecrationis  suce  septimo.  In  the  middle  part  are  the  arms 
of  the  see,  viz.  Two  Crosiers  in  Saltire  with  three  Mitres  in 
Chief.  Under  these  arms  is  written,  He  hath  dispersed  abroad 
and  given  to  the  Poor,  his  Righteousness  remaineth  Jor  ever. 
After  that  are  his  own  arms,  which  are,  A  Cheveron  "between, 
three  Dragons  Heads  crazed.  To  the  north  of  this,  in  the  mid* 
die,  is  a  stone  for  his  wife,  with  only  RESURGAM  upon  it, 
and  under  that  Anno  Dom.  1660. 

Joining  to  it  is  a  third  stone  laid  for  Bishop  Davles,  thus 
inscribed  : 

Hicjacet  Reverendus  in  Christo  Pater  Franciscus  permissions 
Divind  hujus  Ecclesice  Episcopus  post  Restaurationem  secundust 
qui  ad  Dominum  Domini  Die  redijt  Martij  141 ;  70 


Anno,  Consecrationis  8int  $55*  Salutis  l67f  •  ^n  Jejuniisfrequens. 
Ultimo  Ore  semper  Vita  prcedicavit.  Quadragesimalem  hie 
vlvcns  vitam,  Quadragesima  hinc  ad  Fitam  transiit  eternam. 
Underneath  are  the  arms  of  the  see,  which  are  differently 
blazoned  from  those  upon  the  grave-stone  of  bishop  Lloyd, 
namely,  A  Sii'ord  between  two  Keys  in  Saltire,  with  three 
Mitres  on  a  Chief. 

Without  the  rails,  on  the  north  side  of  the  altar,  lies  a  bishop, 
carved  in  free-stone,  with  a  bold  relief,  without  any  inscrip- 
tion. And  upon  the  third  half  pace  as  you  go  up,  is  another 
bishop  in  his  robes,  without  any  inscription  likewise.  The  first 
of  these  is  guessed  to  be  for  St.  Dubritius,  the  first  bishop ; 
and  the  other  might  probably  be  for  bishop  Bromfield,  who  lies 
buried  in  this  church;  except  St.  Teliau's,  on  the  opposite  side, 
is  mistaken  for  him,  which  it  should  seem  to  be  by  the  age. 

The  altar-piece,  which  is  of  free-stone,  was  made  in  bishop 
Marshall's  time.  It  looks  well  still,  though  the  colours  are 
exceedingly  faded.  What  we  first  see,  is  a  row  of  niches,  ]  I 
in  number,  painted  with  roses  and  hyacinths  interchangeably. 
The  centers  of  the  roses  and  the  little  knops  of  the  stems,'  with 
the  flowers  of  the  hyacinths,  are  gilt.  The  roses  are  white, 
which  confirms  the  tradition  of  its  being  made  by  bishop 
Marshall,  since  the  white  rose  was  the  device  of  the  house  of 
York,  which  was  never  (as  I  believe,)  used  singly  in  any  public 
decorations  of  building,  except  in  the  reigns  of  Edward  IV. 
•and  Richard  III.  and  then  it  was  a  proper  compliment  to  his 
patron,  Edward  IV.  under  whom  he  was  preferred. 


Under  these  1  ]  niches,  is  a  row  of  eight  niches,  painted  in 
fresco,  exactly  like  the  former.  At  each  end  of  these  painted 
ones,  are  three  real  niches,  painted  also  in  the  same  manner. 
Within  these  are  two  little  ones,  with  a  pilaster  between  ;  the 
ground-work  throughout,  both  in  the  fresco  and  the  real  niches, 
is  interchangeably  blue  and  red,  and  the  ornaments  over  every 
nich  are  gilt.  At  each  end  is  a  door  which  leads  into  the  ves- 
try, painted  like  all  the  rest.  Above  the  altar-piece  are  two 
rows  of  large  niches,  in  which  formerly  have  been  images.  In 
both  rows  the  middlemost  nich  is  larger  than  the  rest,  and  on 
e-ach  side  are  two  lesser  ones.  The  two  largest  niches  probably 
contained  the  images  of  our  Lord  and  the  blessed  Virgin ;  and 
the  other  twelve  were  for  the  twelve  apostles  :  under  the  two 
large  niches  are  the  ten  commandments,  written  with  gold 
letters,  within  a  frame ;  over  all  is  a  handsome  free-stonf 

The  first  thing  we  see  on  the  north  side  of  the  choir,  as  we 
go  down  from  the  altar,  is  bishop  Marshall's  monument.  It 
stands  in  the  wall,  between  the  pth  and  10th  pillars,  and  is  of 
the  altar  kind.  He  is  placed  in  a  recumbent  posture,  with 
his  crosier  and  mitre,  and  pontifical  robes.  In  the  wall  are 
his  arms  impal'd  with  those  of  the  see.  The  arms  of  the  see 
here  are,  Sable  a  Sword  and  two  Keys  in  Saltire,  Or,  on  a 
Chief,  Vert,  three  Mitres  of  the  Second.  His  own  arms  are, 
Parted  per  Cheveron  in  Fess,  Or  and  Vert,  letween  a  $p  Sable 
l-clow,  and  a  Faulcon,  Or,  above.  At  the  feet  are  the  cross, 
nails,  ropes,  and  other  instruments  of  the  Crucifixion,  carved 
in  free-stone  upon  the  wall.  The  work  of  this  monument  is 


very  good,  and  savours  of  that  time,  when  arts  began  to  revive. 
The  capital  Sp  of  the  black,  or  Gothic  kind,  which  is  in  the 
arms,  which  are  also  (as  I  remember)  upon  the  bishop's  throne, 
puts  it  out  of  doubt  to  whom  this  monument  belongs  j  for 
there  is  no  inscription  whereby  we  may  be  otherwise  in- 

As  we  go  farther  down  on  the  same  side,  at  the  distance  of 
24  feet  nine  inches  from  the  rails,  stands  a  pulpit ;  and  between 
that  and  bishop  Marshall's  tomb,  is  a  door  that  leads  into  the 
north  aisle,  opposite  to  the  door  that  leads  into  the  chapter- 
house. The  organ  loft  is  over  the  stalls  on  the  north  side  of 
the  choir  j  there  are  in  it  some  shattered  remains  of  an  organ 
within  a  wooden  case,  with  some  of  the  pipes  lying  loose  and 
disordered  in  the  case  ;  it  was  formerly  given  to  this  church 
by  my  Lady  Kemysh,  of  Cefn  Mabley,  in  Glamorganshire, 
(grandmother  to  sir  Charles  Kemysh,  who  now  possesses  that 
estate)  after  the  reign  of  king  Charles  II.  So  much  for  the 

In  the  south  aisle,  after  one  goes  up  as  high  as  the  screen, 
there  is  a  partition,  wherein  is  a  small  door  which  leads  into 
what  was  once  a  small  chapel :  it  seems  to  have  been  once 
undivided  from  the  rest  of  the  aisle.  Its  length  is  the  distance 
between  the  9th  and  10th  pillars,  to  which  there  are  two  pilas- 
ters in  the  outer  wall,  exactly  corresponding ;  it  is  arched  over 
head  with  free-stone.  In  the  middle,  within  this  chapel,  is 
the  door  that  leads  into  the  chapter-house. 


The  chapter-house,  (which  is  east  and  west,  21  feet,  south 
and  north  23  feet)  is  paved  with  free-stone,  cut  much  of  the 
size  of  our  common  paving  bricks :  it  is  arched  with  stone, 
and  the  groyns  of  the  arches  centre  all'  in  the  middle,  where 
they  are  supported  by  one  pillar  :  towards  the  south  wall,  and 
a  good  way  to  the  east  and  west,  there  are  seats  round  it.  At 
the  north-east  end  there  is  a  press  where  they  keep  their  re- 
cords, and  by  that  there  is  a  pulpit. 

In  the  uppermost  division  of  the  south  aisle,  near  the  chapel 
abovementioned,  is  a  nich  in  the  outward  wall,  where  there 
seems  to  have  been  a  monument,  but  of  whom  is  not  known. 
At  the  north-east  corner  is  a  nich  in  the  wall,  in  which  is  a 
fair  statue  of  a  lady,  in  a  recumbent  posture,  covered  with  a 
large  veil}  it  is  of  alabaster;  in  the  wall  two  men  hold  two 
escutcheons,  which  are  so  defaced  that  the  arms  cannot  be 
discerned.  There  is  no  inscription.  Her  name  is  said  to  have 
been  Christian  Audley.  But  who  she  was  otherwise,  or  when 
she  lived,  is  not  remembered.  I  can  only  guess,  that  she  was 
probably  the  wife  of  John,  lord  Audley,  a  person  of  great  pos- 
sessions in  these  parts,  and  an  active  man  in  suppressing  the 
insurrection  of  Owen  Glendour,  in  the  time  of  Henry  the  IVth. 
in  the  10th  year  of  whose  reign  he  departed  this  life.  Under 
the  east  window  of  the  same  aisle  is  a  grave-stone  with  this 
inscription  : 


Here  lyeth  the  body  of  William  Evans,  L.  L.  B.  Treasurer  of 
this  Cathedral  Church,  Chancellor  of  this  Diocese  for  40  Years , 


•under  these  three  Bishops,  Anthony  [Kilchin,  alias  Duns  ton,] 
Hugh  [Jones,"]  and  William  [Blethin]  Prebendary  of  Exon, 
And  Justice  oj  the  Peace  and  Quorum  of  Monmouth  and  Gla- 
morgan, deceased  5th  of  January,  Anno  Dom.  1589. 

Underneath  are  his  arms,  quarterly ;  1st.  Three  Lions  Ram- 
pant. 2.  Tivo  Che-oerons  in  a  plain  Field.  3.  A  Lion  Ram- 
pant within  a  lordurc  golonated.  4th.  as  the  first.  Under 
the  arms  is  written,  Fortitude  mca  Dominus. 

Near  this,  to  the  south  side,  is  another  grave-stone,  thus 
inscribed  : 

J  E  S  US. 

Here  lycth  the  Body  of  John  Evans,  q/'Llangattock  Vybona- 
vel,  Brother  to  the  said  William  Evans,  deceased  the  3d  Day 
of  December,  Anno  1588. 

I  go  back  now  to  the  north  aisle,  which  I  had  carried  up 
before  as  high  as  the  choir.  There  the  first  tiling  that  occurs 
worth  observation  is  a  monument  in  a  nich  in  the  wall,  over 
against  bishop  Marshall's  monument,  of  a  bishop  in  his  ponti- 
fical robes,  and  over  him,  in  the  form  of  an  escutcheon,  the 
instruments  of  the  Crucifixion,  the  cross,  nails,  ladder,  rope?, 
and  scourges,  and  over  those  an  emblem  of  the  Resurrection. 
There  is  no  inscription,  nor  other  mark,  by  which  to  find  out 
the  person  for  whom  this  monument  was  made.  Above  that, 
in  another  nich,  is  a  skeleton  engraved  in  free-stone,  lying  in 
a  shroud  open  before,  and  gathered  above  the  head  ;*  it  seems 


to  be  300  years  old,  if  not  more  ;  and,  considering  the  time,  it  is 
not  ill  cut:  this  skeleton  is  over  against  the  llth  pillar  of  the 
choir,  which  joins  to  the  altar. 

Towards  the  east  end  of  this1  aforesaid  north  aisle,  there  is  a 
screen  which  divides  the  east  end  from  the  rest.  It  was  thus 
divided  for  a  burial-place  of  the  family  of  the  Matthew's.  It  is 
11  feet  long,  and  15  feet  broad. 

At  the  upper  end,  within  this  division,  to  the  north  east,  lies  a 
knight  in  armour,  upon  an  altar  monument,  in  alabaster,  well 
wrought  :  at  his  head  is  a  man  in  armour  bearing  his  shield  :  on 
the  side  are  six  images,  five  of  men,  and  one  of  a  woman,  all 
bearing  escutcheons.  This  is  said  to  be  the  monument  of  David 
Matthew  the  great,  who  was  standard  bearer  to  Edward  IV.  and 
was  murdered  at  Neath  (a  maritime  town  in  this  county,  which 
is  the  old  Nidum  in  the  itinerary  of  Antoninus)  by  some  of  the 
Turberviles,  with  whom  he  was  at  variance. 

On  the  north  side  next  to  St.  Mary's  chapel,  between  that  and 
the  north  aisle,  is  a  noble  altar  monument  about  nine  feet  in 
length,  on  which  are  two  images  finely  wrought  in  alabaster  : 
the  man  is  in  armour,  with  a  collar  of  SS's  about  his  neck,  and 
a  coat  of  mail  under  his  corslet;  by  him  lies  a  woman  with  laced 
head  clothes,  and  the  lace  of  the  lappets  gilt.  Round  the  edge 
of  the  altar  is  this  inscription  ? 

yta  animabiw  Christopher!  Matthew  Srmigerf,  5  Elisabeth 
quc  nuiurm  Cliwfart),  obift  pmultimo  Die  Jannarif  '&  £\ 


M.  D.  toitte0  &tfo  tt  prttrtcf  CIjMi&opfjorus  43fafft  ..... 
Slnno  Domini  M.CCCCC0.  tntojum  Snimabws  propttletuc 

On  the  south  side  of  the  monument  are  two  Angels  in  the 
middle,  supporting  the  escutcheons  in  which  are  the  coats  of 
Matthew  and  Morgan.  At  each  end  are  two  old  priests,  and 
between  them  and  the  angels,  towards  the  choir,  are  three  young 
men  in  armour,  and  towards  the  east  end  of  St.  Mary's  chapel, 
two  young  men  in  armour,  and  one  young  woman  :  on  the 
north  side  are  two  angels  in  the  middle,  as  on  the  south,  sup- 
porting the  same  escutcheon,  and  two  priests  with  beads  at  the 
end,  and  three  women  on  each  side  between  the  priests  and  the 

Out  of  the  north  aisle  there  is  a  door  into  St.  Mary's  chapel, 
which  is  at  the  east  end  of  the  choir,  and  divided  from  it  by  a 
long  narrow  room,  which  runs  the  whole  breadth  of  the  choir, 
parallel  to,  and  between  that  and  St.  Mary's  chapel  :  this  room 
is  five  feet  and  three  inches  in  breadth.  It  was  formerly  used 
for  a  vestry,  and  has  two  doors  at  the  north  and  south-west  end, 
behind  the  high  altar,  to  go  into  the  choir  :  it  is  now  only  a  dark 
dusty  place  of  little  or  no  use.  The  chapel  itself,  now  called  the 
Welsh  chapel,  because  divine  service  is  celebrated  in  it  every 
Sunday  in  the  Welsh  language,  is  from  the  west  end  to  the  com- 
munion rails,  in  length  48  feet,  and  from  thence  to  the  altar, 
nine  feet  and  a  half  ;  its  breadth  is  24  feet  six  inches,  and  the 
heighth  about  36  feet  :  it  is  built  without  any  pilasters  to  support 
it.  In  the  inside,  towards  the  west  end,  there  are  two  screens 


of  wood,  10  feet  six  inches  long  apiece,  which  divide  this  cha- 
pel from  the  side-aisles,  and  join  the  wall  of  the  chapel  with  the 
vestry  :  in  each  of  these  screens  there  is  a  door  which  leads  into 
the  aisles.  On  the  north  side,  near  the  rails,  there  is  a  pulpit 
and  a  reading  desk.  Behind  the  altar,  and  on  the  north  and 
south  sides,  are  scats  for  the  people.  In  the  area  of  the  chapel 
is  a  grave  stone  that  is  said  to  belong  to  Johannes  Monumethensia, 
(who  was  bishop  of  LlandafF  .in  1 296)  and  nearer  to  the  altar 
another  for  bishop  Pascall,  who  was  bishop  in  1343.  On  die 
north  side  of  the  altar  lies  William  de  Bruce,  covered  with  a 
black  coarse  marble  grave  stone,  engraved  with  a  bold  relief, 
roughly  drawn  after  the  manner  of  the  time.  He  is  in  his  plain 
episcopal  robes,  with  a  mitre  and  crosier ;  and  over  his  head  is 
cut  in  embossed  work,  ffiK3Hiei3jBQ&  D£  BE2J£<£  ®P&* 
183D,  He  died  in  the  year  1287-  Under  the  altar  are  some 
painted  bricks,  adorned  with  several  sorts  of  grotesque  figures  j 
some  of  the  bricks  seem  to  have  had  letters  inscribed  upon  them , 
but  after  I  had  caused  them  to  be  carefully  cleaned,  I  could 

ii !' " 

discern  nothing  but  parallel  lines  in  this  manner,  ||  I'  |l 


The  whole  altar  seems  to  have  been  paved  with  such  sort  of 
bricks  which  are  now  decayed  and  gone. 

Over  the  altar  in  this  chapel,  towards  the  north  and  south, 
are  two  large  double  niches,  in  which  are  the  ten  commandments 
in  Welsh  :  on  each  side  are  two  rows  of  niches,  with  three  other 
niches  at  each  corner.  The  length  of  St.  Mary's  chapel,  on  the 
outside  east  and  west,  from  the  end  of  the  south  aisle,  is  12 
yards,  which  added  to  the  75  yards  two  feet  six  inches  of  the 

S  s 


knith  aisle  afore-mentioned,  (page  298)  including  the  length  of 
the  old  tower,  makes  the  whole  length  of  the  church,  from  end 
to  end,  east  and  west,  to  be  87  yards  two  feet  six  inches  i.  e,  263 
feet  six  inches. 

The  whole  building  is  covered  with  lead,  which  is  pretty 
entire,  only  by  reason  of  the  sinking  of  the  timbers  of  the  roof, 
it  appears  uneven  and  falling  in  in  several  places.  There  is  no 
painted  glass,  nor  any  escutcheons  in  the  windows  that  I  ob- 
served. This  church  cannot,  by  any  means,  be  said  to  have  been 
well  kept  :  the  walk,  however,  seem  to  be  pretty  strong  every 
where,  except  in  die  old  tower;  and  the  stone  frames  of  the 
windows  tolerably  entire  ;  so  that  it  might  still  be  made,  without 
a  very  great  expence,  considering  the  largeness  of  the  structure, 
a  very  decent  cathedral.  But  the  revenue  of  the  church  is  so 
small,  that,  without  foreign  assistance,  much  cannot  be  done 
nnder  a  very  long  compass  of  time.  The  sen-ice  of  the  choir  has 
been  put  down  many  years,  and  the  revenues  thence  arising 
appropriated  to  the  reparation  of  the  edifice.  The  persons  con- 
cerned, (as  it  is  said)  have  laid  out  some  hundreds  of  pounds  to 
preserve  the  roof  from  falling  in  and  destroying  the  whole  church, 
and  for  other  necessaries. 

The  chapter  consists  of  14  members,  viz.  a  bishop,  who  an- 
swers to  the  dean  in  other  cathedrals,  and  has  a  stall  in  the  choir, 
and  place  in  chapter  in  like  manner.  An  archdeacon,  who,  in 
the  absence  of  the  bishop,  presides,  and  is,  dejure,  sub-dean  ; 
and  1 2  prebendaries.  There  are  also  two  spiritual  vicar-chorals, 
of  whom  one  has  a  pension  of  20/.  a  year,  and  the  other  has  tl>e 
mall  tythes  of  Landaft' and  Whitchurdi. 


The  bishop's  castle  stands  (or  radier  stood,  before  it  was  demo- 
lished) south-east  of  the  church  :  it  was  heretofore  a  very  stately 
building,  if  we  may  judge  by  the  gate-house,  which  is  still  re- 
maining. It  was  destroyed  by  Owen  Vaughan,  commonly  called 
Glendower,  (or  Glyndwrdwy)  who  made  great  devastation  in  this 
country,  as  well  as  in  North  Wales,  when  he  rose  in  arms  against 
Henry  IV.  There  is  a  very  high  thick  stone  wall  still  standing, 
which  probably  enclosed  the  castle,  and  the  out-houses  that 
belonged  to  it.  The  site  of  the  castle  is  now  turned  into  a  gar- 
den, which  belongs  to  Thomas  Matthew,  Esq.  of  the  court  of 
Landaff,  (a  house  "so  called  just  adjoining)  who  is  tenant  to  a 
descendant  of  the  house  of  Aradir,  now  living  in  Ireland  ;  which 
family  has  been  in  possession  of  that  which  was  once  the  episco^ 
pal  house,  and  the  grounds  thereunto  adjoining,  for  some  ages. 

To  the  north-east  of  the  castle  is  the  prebendary  of  War- 
thacwm's  house,  which  is  in  sorry  repair.  Next  to  that  is  die 
treasurer's  house,  now  ruined.  Exactly  to  the  east  of  the  church, 
but  without  the  church-yard,  was  formerly  a  small  college  for 
the  vicars-choral,  and  the  other  officers  of  the  church,  of  which 
only  shattered  ruins  are  now  remaining.  Towards  die  north-east 
end  of  die  church-yard  (which  is  not  large)  is  the  prebendal  house 
of  William  Jones ;  of  which  there  are  only  some  walls  no\v 
standing  :  next  to  diat  is  die  prebendal  house  of  St.  Andrew, 
where  are  large  ruins,  besides  a  small  house.  To  die  west  of 
that  is  die  house  of  die  prebendary  of  St.  Crosse's,  which  is  a 
pretty  good  one.  North-west  of  die  church,  near  die  corner  of 
the  church-yard,  is  a  house  which  is  of  late  re-built,  and  fitted 
up  for  the  reception  of  die  chapter,  when  diey  come  to  die  audit. 
In  an  upper  room  in  diis  house,  diere  is  a  small  library,  founded. 


by  bishop  Davis  since  the  restoration.  He  gave  to  it  many  of  the 
fathers,  from  the  second  to  the  eighth  century,  a  very  fair  St. 
Chrysostom,  of  the  Eton  edition,  with  Bellarmin's  controversies, 
and  several  of  the  classicks.  There  had  been  a  library,  before  the 
civil  wars,  in  the  church ;  but  it  was  dispersed  by  the  rebels,  and 
part  of  it  burned,  with  a  great  heap  of  Common-Prayer  Books, 
at  Cardiff,  whither  the  cavaliers  of  the  country,  and  the  wives  of 
several  sequestered  clergymen,  were  invited  to  the  castle,  in  a 
cold  winter's  day,  to  warm  themselves  by  the  fire,  which  was 
then  made  of  the  books  that  were  there  burnt. 

Towards  the  north-west  of  the  church,  opposite  to  Jasper's 
tower,  in  a  field  called  Llan-y-wriich,  at  about  forty-six  yards 
distance,  there  is  a  ruined  piece  of  building,  under  the  brow  of  a 
hill,  48  yards  in  length,  and  20  yards  broad.  It  appears  to  have 
been  built  in  the  form  of  a  castle,  and  is  said  to  have  belonged 
anciently  to  the  archdeacon  of  Landaff.  His  dwelling  was  cer- 
tainly once  very  magnificent,  since  (we  are  told  that)  the  arch- 
deacon of  that  church,  in  Henry  II's  time,  entertained  that  prince 
at  dinner  at  his  own  house,  from  whence  he  went  to  Cardiff 
castle,  where  he  supped  and  lay  that  night,  in  his  return  to  Lon- 
don from  his  wars  in  Ireland.  The  archidiaconal  castle  was 
demolished  by  Owen  Glyndwrdwy,  at  the  same  time  when  he 
burnt  the  bishop's  castle. 

This,  Sir,  is  the  best  account  I  could  procure  of  the  cathedral 
church  of  Landaff ;  in  which,  if  there  were  not  prayers  read  every 
day,  and  the  ecclesiastical  courts  and  offices  thereunto  belonging, 
constantly  held  in  it,  and  kept  in  the  village  just  by,  there  would 
be  very  small  signs  of  its  being  the  mother-church  of  so  wealthy 


and  populous  a  diocese.  Its  neighbourhood  to  Cardiff,  which  is 
a  mile  off  to  the  east,  makes  its  decayed  condition  the  more  re- 
markable. The  inhabitants  of  that  very  elegant  town,  have, 
within  these  few  years,  beautified  their  church,  and  furnished  it 
with  an  organ,  at  their  no  small  expence.  The  steeple  of  that 
once  conventual  church,  which  is  much  the  finest  in  South 
Wales,  casts  a  shade  upon  Jasper's  tower  in  the  church  of  Lan- 
dafF,  whilst  the  decorations  at  the  top  of  the  one,  which  are  very 
fresh  and  curious,  reproach  the  broken  condition  of  the  battle- 
ments of  the  other.  It  must  be  owned,  that  the  revenue  of  this 
church  is  very  small ;  but  in  this  age,  in  which  building  and 
repairing  of  churches  is  more  in  fashion  than  it  has  been  at  any 
time  since  the  reformation,  so  near  and  so  laudable  an  example 
will,  I  hope,  incite  those  who  are  best  able,  to  raise  the  mother- 
church  above  its  next  adjoining  daughter.  And  I  cannot  but 
believe,  if  those  whose  immediate  concern  the  world  will  judge 
it  to  be,  would  set  themselves  about  it  with  vigour  and  appli- 
cation, but  the  gentlemen  of  these  two  flourishing  counties  of 
Glamorgan  and  Monmouth,  which  constitute  the  diocese  of 
Landaff,  would,  in  like  manner  as  their  ancestors  did  on  the 
erecting  the  primary  structure,  willingly  contribute  to  make 
its  ancient  cathedral  once  more  appear  with  a  lustre  equal,  at 
least,  to  that  which  it  ever  had. 

I  am  with  due  respect, 

Honoured  Sir, 
Your  most  faithful  and 
most  obedient  servant, 



1.  St.  Dubritius,  Anno  4pO.  26. 

2.  St.  Teleiau,  512.  2/. 

3.  Odoceus,  54O.  28. 

4.  Ubylwinus.  29. 

5.  Aidan.  30. 

6.  Elgistill.  31. 
7-  Lunapeius.  32. 

8.  Comegern.  33. 

9.  Argwistill.  34. 
JO.  Gurwan. 

11.  Gwodloiou.  35. 

12.  Edilbiu,  or  Edilbinus. 

13.  Greciolus.  36. 

14.  Berthigwin.  3/. 

15.  Trychan,  or  Trimanus.  38. 

16.  Elvogus,  died  anno  1/63.  , 

17.  Catwarel,  or  Catguaret.  39. 

18.  Cerenhir.  40. 

19.  Nobis.  41. 

20.  Gulfridus.  42. 

21.  Nudd,  or  Nutli.  43. 

22.  Cimelian,  or  Cymclliauth,  44. 
872.  45. 

23.  Libian,  or  Lybiauth,  927. 

2  !    Marchluith,  929.  46. 

25.  Pater,  943.  47. 

Gugan,  or  Gogwan,  972 . 

Bledri,  or  Blethery,  983. 

Joseph,  1O22. 

Herewald,  1046. 
Urban,  1108. 
Hutredus.orUtrryd,  }13p. 

Geffrey,  1149. 

Nicholas  apGwrgant,  1 149. 

William  de  Salso  Marisco, 

Henry,  prior  of  Aberga- 

venny,  1191. 

William  de  Goldclive,  1219- 
Elias  de  Radnor,  123O. 
William  de  Christchurch, 


William  de  Burgh,  1244. 
John  de  la  Ware,  1253. 
William  de  Radnor,  1256. 
William  de  Breuse,  1256. 
Philip  de  Staunton,  1287. 
John  de  Monmouth,  1 296. 
Alexander  de  Monmouth, 


John  de  Eclescliff,  1323. 
John  Coventry,  1346. 


4H.  John  Pascal!,  D.D.  1346  69 

4.Q.  Roger  Cradock,  I36l.  70. 

50.  Thomas  Rushooke,  1383.  71. 

51.  William  de   Bottesham,  72. 

1386.  73. 

52.  Edward  Brumfield,  138Q.  74. 
5}.  T^deman    de    Wynche-  /5- 

combe,  1393.  76. 

54.  Andrew  Barret,  1395.  77. 

55.  John  Burghill,  I3p6.  78. 

56.  Thomas  Peverell,  1398.  79. 

57.  John  de  la  Zouche,  1407.  80. 

58.  John  Fulford,  1423.  81. 

59.  John  Wells,  1425.  82. 

60.  Nicholas  Assheby,  144O.  83. 

61.  John  Hunden,  1458.  84. 

62.  John  Smith,  1476.  85. 

63.  John  Marshal,  1478. 

64.  John  Ingleby,  1496.  86. 

65.  Miles  Salley,  1499.  87. 

66.  George  de  Attica,  or  Athe-  83. 
gua,  1516.  89. 

67.  Robert  Holgate,  153/.  90. 

68.  Anthony     Kitchin,     alias 

Dunstan,  1545.  .91. 

Hugh  Jones,  1567. 
William  Blethin,  1575. 
Gervaise  Babington,  1591. 
William  Morgan,  1595. 
Francis  Godwin,  1601. 
George  Charlton,  1617. 
Theophilus  Field,  1619. 
William  Murray,  1<)27. 
Morgan  Owen,  1639- 
Hugh  Lloyd,  i860. 
Francis  Davis,  1667. 
William  Lloyd,  1675. 
William  Beaw,  1679. 
John  Tyler,  1706. 
Rd.  Clavering,  D.D.  1724. 
John  Harris,  D.  D.     1729. 
Matthais  Mawson,  D.  D. 

John  Gilbert,  LL.  D.  1740. 
Edw.  Cresset,  A.  M.  1748. 
Rd.  Newcome,D.D.  1755. 
John  Ewer,  D.D.  1761. 
Hon.  Shute  Barrington, 
D.D.  1769. 
Rd.  Watson,  D.  D.  1782. 


PAGE    ) 



Aust,  or  Old  Passage  




Caerleon  -  

....     47 



Caerwent  -  

••t»      21 




1  05 

Castle  Coch  




Clytha  Castle  




Kymin  Summer-house-  •  •  • 



Landaff i 131 

Matherne- 8 

Merthyr   - 187 

Monmouth  - -23-2 

Newport  — 93 

Piercefield 270 

Pont-y-Pridd 174 

Ragland 224 

Sudbrook 1-2 

Taffe's  Well •  •  •    168 

Tintern • . .   253 

Usk  - 76 

Wynd-Cliff 207 



Abcrgavenny  Castle 214 

Antiquities  - 55  286 

Berw  Rhonda    180 

Brecknock  Castle 195 

Caerleon  Bridge 4? 

Caerphilly  Castle 124 

Caldecot  Castle 17 

Cardiff  Keep 114 

Entrance  Tower 115 

Castle  Coch  - 164 

Chepstow  Chapel  and  Castle---  •  269 

Christ-Church   92 

Ditto  Tomb-Stone 46 

Crickhowell  Castle  - 209 

Inscriptions  or  Antiquities      55  280 

Landaff,  South  entrance 135 

West  front- 136 

•    233 

Monmouth  Gateway 

Castle 236 

New  Bridge  over  the  Usk 71 

Newport  Castle 

Penhow  Castle 

Pencoed  Castle 


Ragland  Castle 

Rhonda  Bridge 

Tessellated  Pavement  -  • 

Tintern  Abbey 

West  Window  • 
East  Window  • 

TreTwr  Castle-  •••••• 

Trinity  Chappel  — 

Usk  Bridge 

E  RE  AT  A. 

PJIGI  gg  line  10  for  Nant-Kentham  read  Nant-Hentham. 

152     —     9  —    obility,  —     ability. 

252    —    3  —  Landego,  —    iandogo. 



^t>ed  below.